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Bahamas has highest regional criminal justice ranking

The Bahamas criminal justice system ranked highest in the Latin American and Caribbean region, as reflected on the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, which was released yesterday.

This ranking is based on several indicators: Criminal investigation system is effective; criminal adjudication system is timely and effective; correctional system is effective in reducing criminal behavior; criminal justice system is impartial; criminal justice system is free of corruption; criminal justice system is free of improper government influence and due process of law and rights of the accused.

On the overall Rule of Law Index, The Bahamas rose three positions and is ranked 39 out of 126 countries.

The Bahamas’ score places it at nine out of 30 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and 33 out of 38 among high-income countries.

The index measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory

enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

Among its 29 regional counterparts, The Bahamas ranked sixth in order and security.

It ranked eighth in absence of corruption, ninth in fundamental rights, 10th in constraints on government powers, 12th in civil justice, 16th in regulatory enforcement and 18th in open government.

The study is based on more than 120,000 households and 3,800 expert surveys in 126 countries.

The report noted that The Bahamas’ change in ranking was calculated by comparing the positions of the 113 countries measured in the 2017-2018 edition of the index with the rankings of the same 113 countries in 2019, exclusive of 13 new countries indexed in 2019.

“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 toward weaker rule of law around the world,” the report said.

“In a sign suggesting rising authoritarianism, the factor score for constraints on government powers declined in more countries than any other factor worldwide over the last year; 61 countries declined, 23 stayed the same, 29 improved.”

The top three overall performers were Denmark, Norway and Finland, all northern European countries.

Meanwhile, the bottom three performing countries were Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia and Venezuela.

In the Latin American and Caribbean region, the top performers in the index were Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile.

The countries with the lowest scores in the region were Honduras, Bolivia and Venezuela.

The countries measured in the Latin American and Caribbean region include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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