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Dhaka Tribune

WJP Rule of Law Index: Bangladesh’s position remains unchanged

  • Bangladesh ranks 127th out of 142 countries
  • 4th out of 6 countries in South Asia 
  • Score declined slightly
Update : 25 Oct 2023, 08:26 PM

Bangladesh’s position has remained the same on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index this year as the country ranked 127th out of 142 countries. 

However, the Bangladesh’s score declined slightly.  This year, the country scored 0.38 out of 1. Last year, the country’s score was 0.39 while it was .4 in 2021. 

In South Asia, Bangladesh ranked 4th out of six nations.

Nepal is the top performer in the region which ranked 71st followed by Sri Lanka and India. 

The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, according to the report.

Among lower-middle income countries, Bangladesh ranked 28th out of 37.

Globally, the top-ranked country in the 2023 WJP Rule of Law Index is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Germany. 

The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, then Cambodia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

The factors which have been counted for ranking are-constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

Rule of law fell globally for 6th consecutive year   

The rule of law has once again eroded in a majority of countries this year, according to the index. 

This is the sixth consecutive Index marking global declines in the rule of law. This year alone, the rule of law declined in 59% of countries surveyed—including Bangladesh.  

Since 2016, rule of law has fallen in 78% of countries studied. The rule of law factor to decline most between 2016 and 2023 is Fundamental Rights—down in 77% of countries, including Bangladesh.  

Over the past seven years, index scores for constraints on government powers have fallen in 74% of countries—including Bangladesh. 

Around the world, legislatures, judiciaries, and civil society—including the media—have all lost ground on checking executive power, the Index shows. 

These and other authoritarian trends continued in 2023, but they are slowing, with fewer countries declining in 2022 and 2023 than in earlier years. 

Constraints on government powers fell in 56% of countries, compared to 58% in 2022 and 70% in 2021. Likewise, a smaller majority of countries saw overall rule of law declines in this year (59%) as compared to the last two (61% and 74%). 

A smaller majority of countries (56%) also experienced a decline in Fundamental Rights again this year, compared to 2022 (66%). 

On the other hand, declines in the functioning of justice systems are now expanding. 

Two thirds of countries (66%) saw their Index scores for Civil Justice fall this year, up from 61% of countries last year—including Bangladesh. 

Greater justice delays and weaker enforcement are largely to blame. Meanwhile, scores for Criminal Justice also fell in slightly more countries this year (56%) than last year (55%). 

“The world remains gripped by a rule of law recession characterized by executive overreach, curtailing of human rights, and justice systems that are failing to meet people’s needs,” said WJP co-founder and President William H Neukom. 

“People around the world are paying the price.” 

The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law. 

Now covering 142 countries and jurisdictions, the Index relies on more than 149,000 household surveys and 3,400 legal practitioner and expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide.

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