- 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index® finds rule of law fell globally for 5th consecutive year
- Authoritarian trends and some pandemic pressures continue in majority of countries
- St. Kitts and Nevis’ score increased, ranks 5th out of 32 regionally
WASHINGTON (26 October 2022) – For the fifth year in a row, the rule of law has declined globally, according to the2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®, released today.
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.
However, St. Kitts and Nevis is among the minority of countries to see its Rule of Law Index score increase this year.
Globally, 4.4 billion people live in countries where rule of law has declined over the past year.
“We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues,” said Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project (WJP). “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.”
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.
Rule of law in St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis’ overall rule of law score increased by less than 1% in this year’s Index. It ranks 39th out of 140 countries worldwide, rising one position since last year.
Regionally, St. Kitts and Nevis ranks 5th out of 32 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.* The region’s top performer is Uruguay (ranked 25th out of 140 globally), followed by Costa Rica and Chile. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela (140th globally).
In the last year, 21 out of 32 countries declined in Latin America and the Caribbean. Of those 21 countries, 16 had also declined in the previous year.
Among high income countries, St. Kitts and Nevis ranks 37th out of 43.**
Global rankings and trends
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. It 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: 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 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.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ WJP Rule of Law Index rankings
Overall score global rank: 39 / 140
Overall score regional rank: 5 / 32
Factor score rankings:
|FACTOR||GLOBAL RANK||REGIONAL RANK*||INCOME RANK**|
|Constraints on Government Powers||45/140||7/32||36/43|
|Absence of Corruption||41/140||7/32||37/43|
|Order and Security||49/140||4/32||37/43|
(1 is best in WJP Rule of Law Index rankings)
To see St. Kitts and Nevis’ performance across all 44 subfactors the Index measures, visit: https://worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index/country/2022/St.%20Kitts%20and%20Nevis/
Explore the full rankings and findings of the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index at: www.worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index/.
- Find the global press release and all 140 country press releases by region here.
- Access the complete 2022 Rule of Law Index and “Insights” booklet here.
- See graphics (regional rankings, global rankings, and comparative maps) here.
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ABOUT THE WJP RULE OF LAW INDEX:
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 140 countries and jurisdictions, the Index relies on more than 154,000 household surveys and 3,600 legal practitioner and expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide. 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.
ABOUT THE WORLD JUSTICE PROJECT:
The World Justice Project (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. Learn more about these four universal principles and our work at: www.worldjusticeproject.org.
*Countries and jurisdictions measured in the Latin America and Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.