Bahamas ranked 41 on rule of law index

The Bahamas ranked 41 out of 128 countries on the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2020, which was released yesterday.

“The WJP Rule of Law Index measures rule of law performance in 128 countries and jurisdictions across eight primary factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice,” a WJP release stated.

“The Index is the world’s leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law.

“The Bahamas’ overall rule of law score decreased by less than one percent in this year’s index.

“At 41st place out of 128 countries and jurisdictions worldwide, The Bahamas fell two positions in global rank.

“The Bahamas’ score places it at nine out of 30 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region and 34 out of 37 among high-income countries.”

The only other Latin America and Caribbean region countries to score higher than The Bahamas were St. Lucia (8), Antigua and Barbuda (7), St. Kitts and Nevis (6), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (5), Barbados (4), Chile (3), Costa Rica (2) and Uruguay (1).

In each of the respective eight categories, out of 128 countries, The Bahamas ranked at: 43 for constraints on government powers, which “measures the extent to which those who govern are bound by law”; 37 for absence of corruption; 62 for open government, which measures the “extent to which a government shares information, empowers people with tools to hold the government accountable and fosters citizen participation in public policy deliberations”; 36 for fundamental rights, which encompasses human rights; 55 for order and security; 64 for regulatory enforcement, which “measures the extent to which regulations are fairly and effectively implemented and enforced”; 50 civil justice; and 24 for criminal justice.

Regionally, out of 30 countries, The Bahamas ranked at: 10 for constraints on government powers; nine for absence of corruption; 18 for open government; 10 for fundamental rights; 6 for order and security; 18 for regulatory enforcement; 13 for civil justice; and top marks at number one in the region for criminal justice.

The report also indicated a trend towards “weaker rule of law” across the globe.

In a separate statement highlighting the global trends, WJP said: “More countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a third year in a row, continuing a negative slide toward weakening and stagnating rule of law around the world.

“The majority of countries showing deteriorating rule of law in the 2020 Index also declined in the previous year, demonstrating a persistent downward trend.

“This was particularly pronounced in the Index factor measuring constraints on government powers.”

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