World Justice Project and the Rule of Law Index for 2014

WJP.jpegThe World Justice Project defines itself in terms of its mission: “To increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate government reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.” The 2014 index rankings are as follow:

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland scored as the top four rankings of the World Justice Project’s 2014 “Rule of Law Index”. The United States ranked #19 just ahead of Uruguay (#20) Chile (#21) and Poland (#22). Estonia (#15) beat the USA.

Scores are based on nine factors:

1. Constraints on Government Powers
2. The Absence of Corruption
3. Open Government
4. Fundamental Rights
5. Order and security
6. Regulatory Enforcement
7. Civil Justice
8. Criminal Justice

9. Informal Justice [Think religious courts, tribal controls and deep rooted cultural norms].

When Fundamental Rights were measured, the U.S. came in #27. Fundamental rights were defined by The World Justice Project as a measurement of how effectively countries uphold and protect rights and freedoms established under international law. These rights include equal treatment under the law, the absence of discrimination, due process, and personal security, freedom of religion, expression of opinions, rights of the accused, assembly and labor rights.

When measuring Order and Security, crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, burglary armed robbery, extortion, fraud and the commonality of the use of inter-personal violence to resolve conflict, the United States came in at #18, behind Uzbekistan (#5), the United Arab Emirates (#9), Malaysia (#12) and the Republic of Georgia (#17). In the category of Absence of Corruption, the U.S. ranked # 21, behind Korea (#16) Estonia (#18) and France (#20). When measuring Civil Justice, which is how societies provide for ordinary people to resolve grievances and remedies through peaceful and effective civil manner, rather than resorting to violence or self-help, the United States scored at #27. Ahead of the U.S. is Korea (#10), Estonia (#15), Uruguay (#17) and Jordan (#21). In measuring Criminal Justice, the U.S. came in at #22, behind the United Arab Emirates (#7), the Republic of Korea (#8), and Estonia (#13) and just after the U.S. came Botswana at #23. The World Justice Project defines an effective criminal justice system as one that is capable of investigating, prosecuting, adjudicating and punishing criminal offenses successfully, reliably and in a timely manner through a system that is impartial and non-discriminatory, as well as free of corruption and improper government influence.

The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2014 is the fourth in its annual report series. It is based on a comprehensive data set drawing from primary sources. In preparing its annual report, the World Justice Project drew upon over 100,000 experts and household surveys in over one hundred countries. It defines itself as, a “quantitative assessment tool designed to provide a comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.” See the World Just Project Rule of Law Index. The WJP says its Index is the most comprehensive index of its kind, reflecting the actual conditions experienced by the population. Heads of state, chief justices, business leaders, public officials, and the press have cited the report.

For more articles on the WJP Rule of Law Index, see: