-Improved by 2 points, as World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, more countries declined than improved for second year in row
The World Justice Project (WJP) today released the WJP Rule of Law Index® 2019, an evaluation of rule of law adherence worldwide based on more than 120,000 household and 3,800 expert surveys in 126 countries. Featuring current, original data, the WJP Rule of Law Index measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.
At 97th place out of 126 countries worldwide, Liberia improved two positions for overall rule of law performance in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 edition. (Note that this change in ranking was calculated by comparing the positions of the 113 countries measured in the 2017-2018 edition of the Index with the rankings of the same 113 countries in 2019, exclusive of 13 new countries indexed in 2019).
Liberia’s score places it at 14 out of 30 countries in the Sub-Saharan African region and 8 out of 20 among low income countries.
Countries measured in the Sub-Saharan African region include Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Congo, Dem. Rep.; Cote d’Ivoire; Ethiopia; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Low income countries include Afghanistan; Benin; Burkina Faso; Congo, Dem. Rep.; Ethiopia; Guinea; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Nepal; Niger; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zimbabwe
The top three overall performers in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 were Denmark (1), Norway (2), and Finland (3); the bottom three were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (124), Cambodia (125), and Venezuela (126).
Globally, the new WJP Rule of Law Index scores show that more countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a second year in a row, continuing a negative slide toward weaker rule of law around the world. In a sign suggesting rising authoritarianism, the factor score for “Constraints on Government Powers” declined in more countries than any other factor worldwide over the last year (61 countries declined, 23 stayed the same, 29 improved).
“This slide in rule of law in general and checks on government powers in particular is deeply concerning,” commented Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project.
Regionally, Sub-Saharan Africa’s top performer in the Index is Namibia (34th out of 126 countries globally), followed by Mauritius and Rwanda. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region were Cameroon, Mauritania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (124th out of 126 countries globally).
The WJP Rule of Law Index® is the world’s leading source for original data on the rule of law. The Index relies on more than 120,000 household and 3,800 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived in practical, everyday situations by the general public worldwide. Performance is measured using 44 indicators across eight primary rule of law factors, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.
“Effective rule of law is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace,” said William H. Neukom, WJP founder and CEO. “No country has achieved a perfect realization of the rule of law. The WJP Rule of Law Index is intended to be a first step in setting benchmarks, informing reforms, stimulating programs, and deepening appreciation and understanding for the foundational importance of the rule of law.”
The complete 2019 report—including country profiles, data visualizations, methodology, and download options—is available on February 28 at: www.worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index.
The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide. Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Learn more at: