NZ moves up in global Rule of Law Index

by Sol Dolor10 Feb 2018

New Zealand has moved up the World Justice Project’s (WJP) “Rule of Law Index,” despite not improving its previous score.

The country, which retained its 0.83 overall score, ranked seventh worldwide behind Denmark (0.89), Norway (0.89), Finland (0.87), Sweden (0.86), the Netherlands (0.85), and Germany (0.83). It ranked higher than Austria, Canada, Australia, and the UK, which all scored 0.81. In the last iteration of the study, New Zealand ranked eighth overall in the world.

In the “East Asia and Pacific” region, where WJP classified New Zealand, the country clinched first place ahead of Australia (0.81), Singapore (0.80), Japan (0.79), Hong Kong (0.77), Republic of Korea (0.72), Mongolia (0.54), Malaysia (0.54), Indonesia (0.52), and Thailand (0.50).

The extensive report scores countries based on eight measures, which are: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

New Zealand ranked high worldwide in constraints on government powers (7th), absence of corruption (6th), open government (7th), regulatory enforcement (6th), and civil justice (8th). It was lower in fundamental rights (11th), order and security (16th), and criminal justice (14th).

In the fundamental rights measure, New Zealand was weighed down by low scores in discrimination, due process of law, and labour rights. In order and security, it scores low in absence of violent redress, while in criminal justice, it got low marks in effective investigations, timely and effective adjudication, effective correctional system, discrimination, and due process of law.

New Zealand was recognized for its above-the-median and stable rule of law, along with just 20 other jurisdictions of the 113 surveyed. The study gathered 1,000 samples from Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington in 2017.

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