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Namibia ranks 44th out of 142 countries in Rule of Law Index

Namibia ranks 44th out of 142 countries in Rule of Law Index

Namibia is among a minority of countries to see its Rule of Law Index score increase this year, as the rule of law once again eroded in a majority of countries, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2023.

According to the WJP this is the sixth consecutive Index marking global declines in the rule of law and this year alone, the rule of law declined in 59% of countries surveyed.

Regionally, Namibia ranks 2nd out of 34 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa and the top performer in the region is Rwanda, ranked 41st out of 142 globally, followed by Namibia and Mauritius. The three counties with the lowest scores in the region are Mauritania, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo at 138 globally.”

The index shows that in the last year, 20 out of 34 countries declined in Sub-Sahara Africa. Of those 20 countries, 10 had also declined in the previous year and among the upper-middle income countries, Namibia ranks 4th out of 41. “Globally, the top ranked country in the Index is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Germany. The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, then Cambodia, Afghanistan, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

According to the index, since 2016, the rule of law has fallen in 78% of countries studied. Declining the most between 2016 and 2023 is Fundamental Rights, which is down in 77% of the countries. “Over the past seven years, Index scores for Constraints on Government Powers have fallen in 74% of countries, around the world, legislatures, judiciaries and civil society including the media have all lost ground on checking executive power,” the Index shows.

On the other hand, declines in the functioning of justice systems are now expanding, where two thirds of countries, 66% saw their Index scores for Civil Justice fall this year, up from 61% of countries last year, including Namibia. “Greater justice delays and weaker enforcement are largely to blame. Moreover, scores for Criminal Justice fell in 56% of the countries surveyed, compared to the 55% that lost ground last year.

WJP Co-founder and President William Neukom said the world remains gripped by a rule of law recession characterized by executive overreach, curtailing of human rights, and justice systems that are failing to meet people’s needs. “People around the world are paying the price,” concluded Neukom.

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