GUYANA has moved two places up in adherence to the rule of law, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2019.
Guyana is now placed at 75th of 126 countries worldwide and is ranked 19 out of 30 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region and 24 out of 38 among upper-middle-income countries.
The WJP Rule of Law Index measures countries’ rule-of-law performance across eight factors. These are Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice.
This year’s report shows that Guyana’s best performance was in ‘Constraints on Government Powers’, ranking at 55 out of 126.
Constraints on government’s powers measure the extent to which those who govern are bound by law and comprises both the constitutional and institutional means by which the powers of the government and its officials and agents are limited and held accountable under the law.
This factor is followed by Civil Justice, Fundamental Rights and Absence of Corruption which all rank 65 out of 126.
There is more work to do in the area of Criminal Justice, which ranks at 78 out of 126; Open Government with 84 out of 126; Regulatory Enforcement at 86 out of 126 and Order and Security at 105 out of 126.
The change in ranking was calculated by comparing the positions of the world’s countries measured in the 2017-2018 edition of the index, with the rankings of the same countries in 2019, exclusive of 13 new countries indexed in 2019.
According to a report, globally, the new WJP Rule of Law Index scores show that more countries declined than improved in overall rule-of-law performance for a second year in a row, continuing a negative slide towards weaker rule of law around the world.
The ‘Constraints on Government Powers’ factor declined in more countries than any other factor worldwide over the last year, which saw 61 countries declining, 23 staying the same and 29 improving.
“This slide in rule of law in general and checks on government powers in particular is deeply concerning,” said Executive Director of the World Justice Project, Elizabeth Andersen.
Meanwhile, WJP founder and CEO William H. Neukom reminded: “Effective rule of law is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace…no country has achieved a perfect realisation of the rule of law. The WJP Rule of Law Index is intended to be a first step in setting benchmarks, informing reforms, stimulating programmes, and deepening appreciation and understanding for the foundational importance of the rule of law.”
The top three overall performers in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 were Denmark (1), Norway (2), and Finland (3) while the bottom three were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (124), Cambodia (125) and, Guyana’s western neighbour, Venezuela (126).
Regionally, Latin America and the Caribbean’s top performer in the Index is Uruguay at 23, out of 126, followed by Costa Rica and Chile.
The three countries with the lowest scores in the region were Honduras, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
The evaluation of the rule of law adherence worldwide is based on more than 120,000 household and 3,800 expert surveys in 126 countries.
The WJP Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source for original data on the rule of law.