Rwanda has emerged the second best performer in Sub-Saharan Africa in the World Global Rule of Law Index, improving three places from last year's ranking.
The 'World Justice Project Rule of Law Index' is an evaluation of rule of law adherence; measuring countries' performance across constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil Justice, and criminal justice.
Covering 128 countries and jurisdictions, the Index relies on national surveys of more than 130,000 households, 4,000 legal practitioners and experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide.
Overall, Rwanda was globally ranked 37th putting her slightly behind Namibia which was ranked 35th.
Absence of corruption
In the area of corruption, Rwanda was ranked 36th globally ahead of countries like Malaysia (41), Mauritius (43) and Greece (45).
The Index measures the absence of bribery, improper influence by public or private interests, and misappropriation of public funds or other resources within government.
These three forms of corruption are examined with respect to government officers in the executive branch, the judiciary, the military, police, and the legislature.
In the evaluation of the criminal justice system, Rwanda was ranked 42nd ahead of countries like South Africa (44), Turkey (85), Russia (110), Uganda (113) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (125).
To achieve this, the Index made an assessment of the delivery of criminal justice should take into consideration the entire system, including the police, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and prison officers.
In this area, the Index analysis looks into whether ordinary people can resolve their grievances peacefully and effectively through the civil justice system.
It measures whether civil justice systems are accessible and affordable as well as free of discrimination, corruption, and improper influence by public officials.
It also examines whether court proceedings are conducted without unreasonable delays and whether decisions are enforced effectively.
Rwanda scored the ranked the 30th out of 84, beating countries like the United States (US) which came in at the 36th position.
At a global level, countries experienced the biggest declines over the past year in the areas of Fundamental Rights (54 declined, 29 improved), constraints on government Powers (52 declined, 28 improved), and Absence of Corruption (51 declined, 26 improved).
This is not a new pattern; WJP data shows the same three factors were the largest decliners over a five-year time horizon as well. Fundamental Rights showed the most backsliding with 67 countries dropping in score since 2015.
Civil Justice showed the most positive movement over the previous year, with 47 countries improving versus 41 declining. Since 2015, Regulatory Enforcement has improved the most, with 65 countries improving versus 29 declining.
This article was originally published on New Times Rwanda.