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Rule of Law index shows worrying trends amid some bright spots

The US-based World Justice Project has released its 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index. Canada's overall score is unchanged.

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The US-based World Justice Project has released its 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index.

Canada’s overall score remains unchanged at 0.81, compared to 2016, ranking 9th globally (up three spots) — which is heartening.  More worrisome is that scores have fallen in 38 out of 113 countries since 2016. Among them, the Philippines dropped 18 places, and Poland dropped 3 places, in large part because attacks on the independence of the judiciary, but also deteriorations in criminal justice, fundamental rights and open government.  Overall, more countries saw their scores fall (34 per cent) than rise (29 per cent).

"We are witnessing a global deterioration in fundamental aspects of the rule of law" said William H. Neukom, WJP founder and CEO.

On the more positive side, Ghana has demonstrated progress as it now ranks first among African countries (43 globally), edging out South Africa (44). Croatia (33) made notable gains in open government and civil justice. Constraints on government power improved considerably in Argentina (46). France also saw significant improvements in several areas, including order and security, and regulatory enforcement. It ranks 18th globally, ahead of the U.S., which dropped one spot, having suffered setbacks in the category of fundamental rights, where it fell five spots.

Sitting atop the rankings are Denmark, Norway and Finland, in that order. The worst scores were found in Afghanistan (111), Cambodia (112), and Venezuela (113).

Check out the interactive map here.