ISLAMABAD: The Washington-based World Justice Project (WJP) yesterday released its 2012 Rule of Law Index, which finds Pakistan as the seventh most corrupt and the top-most insecure nation out of a total of 97 countries assessed.
The country also presents a dismal picture in the categories of human rights, civil and criminal justice, regulatory enforcement, check on government powers, regulatory enforcement and openness of the government.
The report says that the comparison of the index shows Pakistan scoring strongly on judicial independence and fairness in administrative proceedings. According to the 241-page report, Pakistan shows weaknesses in most dimensions when compared to its regional and income group peers.
Low level of government accountability are compounded by the prevalence of corruption, a weak justice system, and a poor security situation, particularly related to terrorism and crime. The country scores more strongly on judicial independence and fairness in administrative proceedings.
According to the report, the global ratings of 97 countries, including Pakistan, is assessed in the eight factors, including Limited Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Order and Security, Fundamental Rights, Open Government, Regularity Enforcement, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice, which all contribute towards rule of law.
In the case of Pakistan, out Corruption is 90th.
It is 97th (the last) in the category of order and Security; 93rd in the field of Human Rights; 92nd in the areas of Open Government; 91st in the case of Civil Justice; 88th in the area of Regulatory Enforcement; 80th in the factor of Criminal Justice; and 69th out of 97 countries in the factor or Limited Government Powers.
The WJP Rule of Law Index is an assessment tool that offers a comprehensive picture of adherence to the rule of law. The 2012 report is the third in an annual series and includes, for the first time, a total of 97 countries and jurisdictions.
According to the report the Index and its findings have been referenced in major global media, including The Economist, The New York Times,
The Washington Post, and El País; stimulated discussions and actions on the rule of law in countries around the world; and has been cited by heads of state and chief justices, as supporting evidence of the need to advance rule of law reforms in their countries.
The report is a product of five years of intensive development, testing, and vetting - including interviewing 97,000 members of the general public and more than 2,500 experts in the 97 countries.
About the WJP, the report said that it is an independent, non-profit organisation working to strengthen the rule of law throughout the world.
It is based on two complementary premises: first, the rule of law is the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity; and second, multidisciplinary collaboration is the most effective way to advance the rule of law around the world.
It is said that establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity- communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.
‘Without the rule of law, medicines do not reach health facilities due to corruption; women in rural areas remain unaware of their rights; people are killed in criminal violence; and firms’ costs increase because of expropriation risk.
The rule of law is the key to improving public health, safeguarding participation, ensuring security and fighting poverty.
It is said that the Index scores and rankings are constructed from over 400 variables drawn from two original sources of data collected from independent sources by the World Justice Project in each country: a General Population Poll (GPP) and a series of Qualified Respondents Questionnaires (QRQ). To date, over 97,000 people and 2,500 experts from around the world have participated in this project.
The Index is intended for a broad audience of policy-makers, civil society, practitioners, academics, and other constituencies. The rule of law is not the rule of lawyers and judges.
All elements of society are stakeholders in the rule of law. It is our hope that over time, this tool will help identify strengths and weaknesses in each country under review and encourage policy choices that advance the rule of law.