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Daily Briefs


Photo : World Justice Project

14 March 2020, Saturday

Rule of Law: Pakistan drops a rank, and listed amongst the last ten



Along with Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Nepal and Sri Lanka are better placed

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

Main Story

Rule of Law: Pakistan drops a rank, and listed amongst the last ten

Lakshmi V Menon


In March, The World Justice Project (WJP) released their annual report WJP Rule of Law Index® 2020. Reflecting a decrease of less than one per cent in the overall rule of law in the 2020 Index, Pakistan dropped one position from last year. With an overall score of 0.39, Pakistan received a ‘regional rank’ of 5 among the six South Asian countries, an ‘income rank’ of 25 among the 30 lower middle-income countries and a ‘global rank’ of 120 out of the 128 surveyed countries and jurisdictions.

Pakistan was scored as follows: for ‘Constraints on Government Powers’, Factor score of 0.49 (Score change: -0.03), Regional rank of 4, Income rank of 12 and Global rank of 79. For ‘Absence of Corruption’, Factor score of 0.31 (Score change: -0.01), Regional rank of 5, Income rank of 25 and Global rank of 116. For ‘Open Government’, Factor score of 0.43 (Score change: -0.02), Regional rank of 4, Income rank of 16 and Global rank of 91. For ‘Fundamental Rights’, Factor score of 0.38 (Score change: 0), Regional rank of 5, Income rank of 23 and Global rank of 115. For ‘Order and Security’, Factor score of 0.37 (Score change: 0.01), Regional rank of 5, Income rank of 29 and Global rank of 126. For ‘Regulatory Enforcement’, Factor score of 0.39 (Score change: 0.01), Regional rank of 5, Income rank of 25 and Global rank of 115. For ‘Civil Justice’, Factor score of 0.38 (Score change: 0.01), Regional rank of 4, Income rank of 24 and Global rank of 118. For ‘Criminal Justice’, Factor score of 0.35 (Score change: 0), Regional rank of 4, Income rank of 19 and Global rank of 98. (WJP Rule of Law Index 2020)

The Index highlighted a few “Global Trends”. First, a persistent downward trend has been observed for most countries for a third year in a row, especially regarding ‘Constraints on Government Powers’. Second, regionally, every area saw a majority of countries sliding downward or remaining unchanged. Third, globally, Fundamental Rights (29 improved, 54 declined), Constraints on Government Powers (28 improved, 52 declined) and Absence of Corruption (26 improved, 51 declined) experienced the most significant deteriorations. Over the past five years, these three factors have recorded the largest declines with Fundamental Rights being the worst (67 declines since 2015). 

The global picture is worrisome. Nevertheless, since 2015, Regulatory Enforcement (65 improved, 29 declined) has bettered the most. Civil Justice (47 improved, 41 declined) recorded greatest positive graph during the previous year.

For Imran Khan and PTI who won the 2019 elections based on their anti-corruption and merit-promotion campaigning, the WJP Index ranking should be a blow. The dropping of one rank in WJP Index (120th) coupled with the dropping of three ranks in Transparency International’s recent Corruption report (120th from 117th in 2019) question the credibility of the ruling PTI government.

Globally, Denmark, Norway and Finland topped the ranking, while Venezuela, Cambodia and DR Congo secured the lowest scores. Regionally, Nepal (61strank) topped in South Asia, followed by Sri Lanka and India. Bangladesh, Pakistan (120thrank) and Afghanistan (122ndrank) secured the lowest scores. The Index, “the world’s leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law”, measures ‘the rule of law performance’ across 128 countries and jurisdictions, based on national surveys conducted on about 4,000 legal practitioners, over 130,000 households and experts from across the world. The perimeters or factors of evaluation are eight – Order and Security, Civil Justice, Constraints on Government Powers, Open Government, Regulatory Enforcement, Absence of Corruption, Criminal Justice and Fundamental Rights. (WJP Rule of Law Index 2020)

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