Nepal tops South Asia in Rule of Law Index

KATHMANDU: Nepal has secured the top spot among its South Asian peers in the WJP Rule of Law Index (IDI) 2018.

A report published by World Justice Project states that Nepal’s ranking improved five positions to 58th place out of 113 countries worldwide taking a lead in terms of adherence to rule of law in the entire South Asian region.

Moreover, WJP asserted that all of the countries in this region improved in the global ranks with the exception of Afghanistan, which stayed in 111th place. Sri Lanka improved the most dramatically, moving up nine positions to 59th place out of 113 indexed countries.

The WJP Rule of Law Index has measured rule of law adherence in 113 countries and jurisdictions worldwide based on more than 110,000 household and 3,000 expert surveys.

Following primary data analysis, the index gauged on adherence to rule of law based on eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.

As per the report, the greatest decline was seen in factor 4, fundamental rights as 71 countries dropped out of 113, which measures the absence of discrimination, right to life and security, due process, freedom of expression and religion, right to privacy, freedom of association, and labour rights.

The second greatest decline was seen in factor 1, constraints on government powers as 64 countries dropped out of 113, which measures the extent to which those who govern are bound by law.

In addition, more countries’ overall rule of law score declined (34 per cent) than improved (29 per cent) as compared to their 2016 Index scores-a troubling trend, WJP report stated.

Likewise, the top three overall performers in 2017-2018 WJP Rule of Law Index were Denmark (1), Norway (2), and Finland (3); the bottom three were Afghanistan (111), Cambodia (112), and Venezuela (113).