Malawi ranks 66 out of 140 in world Rule of Law Index 

The World Justice Project’s original data in 140 countries and jurisdictions shows that adherence to the rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year but Malawi is among the minority of countries to see its Rule of Law Index score increase this years.

Released on October 26, the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index® finds rule of law fell globally for 5th consecutive year and that authoritarian trends and some pandemic pressures continue in majority of countries.

The report quotes WJP executive director Elizabeth Andersen as saying: “We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues.

Minister  of unity and Peace: Tim Mtambo

“At its heart, rule of law is about fairness — that is, accountability, equal rights, and justice for all. And a less fair world is bound to be a more volatile one.”

The Index data shows that authoritarian trends that predate the pandemic — such as weaker checks on executive power and increased attacks on the media — continue to erode the rule of law globally.

“However, declines are less widespread and extreme than last year, when COVID shutdowns dramatically disrupted justice systems, and governments exercised emergency powers that curtailed civic freedoms and bypassed transparency mechanisms.”

For Malawi, the report says it’s overall rule of law score increased by less than 1% in this year’s Index, ranking 66th out of 140 countries worldwide — rising one position since last year.

“Regionally, Malawi ranks 8th out of 34 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says the report. “The region’s top performer is Rwanda (ranked 42nd out of 140 globally), followed by Mauritius and Namibia.

“The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Mauritania, Cameroon, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (137th globally).”

In the last year, the report says 20 out of 34 countries declined in Sub-Saharan Africa and of those countries, 15 had also declined in the previous year.

Among low income countries, Malawi ranks 2nd out of 17.

Globally, the top-ranked country in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2022 is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

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

The WJP Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source of independent rule of law data, which draws on in-depth surveys with more than 154,000 everyday people and 3,600 legal practitioners and experts to measure rule of law across eight factors.

The factors are: Constraints on Government Powers; Absence of Corruption; Open Government; Fundamental Rights; Order and Security; Regulatory Enforcement; Civil Justice; and Criminal Justice.

Factor scores are averaged to assign an overall rule of law score to each country.

Some of the biggest global declines this year were in the Index factors associated with rising authoritarianism and the longer-term erosion of rule of law.

This year, respect for fundamental rights declined in two-thirds of countries. Checks on government powers — such as oversight by the judiciary, legislature, and media — fell in 58% of countries this year.

The report says “other top factor driving this year’s global declines is Civil Justice, largely due to continued pandemic-related delays, weakened enforcement, and rising discrimination in civil justice systems. Scores for this factor fell in 61% of countries this year.

The Index provides current and reliable information to policy makers, civil society organizations, academics, citizens, and legal professionals, among others, and is intended to encourage policy reforms, guide program development, and inform research to strengthen the rule of law.

The WJP is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to create knowledge, build awareness, and stimulate action to advance the rule of law worldwide.

Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It underpins development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights, and it is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace.

The World Justice Project defines the rule of law as a durable system of laws, institutions, norms, and community commitment that delivers: accountability, just laws, open government, and accessible justice.

To learn more about these four universal principles and its work the public is encouraged to visit:

Countries and jurisdictions measured in the Sub-Saharan Africa region: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Low income countries and jurisdictions: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda.

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