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International report measures rule of law in 113 countries

An international report measuring the rule of law in practice around the world has been published. The World Justice Project’s 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index scores and ranks 113 countries. Find out which countries are top of the tree.

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The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® is the world’s most comprehensive dataset of its type and the only one that relies principally on primary data. It measures countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.

Strengthening the rule of law is a major goal of citizens, governments, donors, businesses, and civil society organizations around the world. Effective rule of law:

  • Reduces corruption
  • Combats poverty and disease, and
  • Protects people from injustices large and small.

It is also the foundation for communities of peace, opportunity, and equity – underpinning development, accountable government and respect for fundamental rights.

The 8 factors used by the index

The report paints a picture of the rule of law in 113 countries by providing scores and rankings based on 8 factors which show each country's strengths and weaknesses: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. 

Rule of law index country rankings

1. Denmark
2. Norway
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Netherlands
6. Germany
7. New Zealand
8. Austria
9. Canada
10. Australia

The top six countries all retain their rankings, while Australia and Canada enter the Top 10 in the 2017-18 report. The United Kingdom is in 11th place while the United States just about breaks the Top 20, ranking 19th. 

The worst performing countries were deemed to be Afghanistan, Cambodia and in last place, Venezuela. 

To read the full report

Download The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2017-2018