This week, the World Justice Project released the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index. Based on surveys conducted between February and June 2022, one would expect the index to show a post-pandemic recovery in the rule of law. Unfortunately, the new data show persistent negative trends globally, with the rule of law declining in 61 per cent of countries. The decline in the rule of law has been weaker and less widespread than during the year of the pandemic. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the countries whose value declined in 2021 experienced further setbacks in 2022. Here, too, restrictions on government powers, the speed of the judicial system, the space for civil society and discrimination have diminished in most countries. Andersen and Evangelides dealt specifically with the U.S. position. From 2016 to 2021, the United States “experienced some of the largest rule of law declines in the world in recent years — similar in size to Hungary, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Nicaragua.” During this period, it was mainly the limits of governmental powers that suffered. Andersen said the U.S. has “partially improved” its deterioration since 2016, but that “extreme trends have weakened both trust and accountability, and our democracy is not as healthy as it should be.” The United States ranks 26th out of 140 countries for the general rule of law.

In several categories, the United States showed trends, ranking 103rd for discrimination, 115th for access to criminal justice and 121st for access to civil justice. Evangelides said the impartiality of criminal justice and labor rights subfactors is particularly problematic for the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has put considerable pressure on the rule of law around the world. As pandemic conditions ease, we hope that the rule of law will be restored. Unfortunately, new data show persistent challenges in most countries, revealing a global rule of law crisis. According to Alicia Evangelides, co-director of the Rule of Law Index, three main factors have been responsible for the overall decline this year. Government control has eroded in 58 per cent of countries, the effectiveness of civil justice systems has declined in 61 per cent of countries due to problems such as system-wide delays and discrimination, and respect for human rights has declined in 66 per cent of countries. Since 2015, fundamental rights have declined more than any other factor; 76% of countries recorded a decline.

Evangelicals have attributed the decline to authoritarian tendencies in areas such as freedom of expression and association. India ranked 79th out of 139 countries and jurisdictions in the World Justice Project`s (WJP) 2021 Rule of Law Index. The WJP`s 2021 Rule of Law Index evaluates countries based on scores of 0-1, with 1 indicating the highest respect for the rule of law. Denmark, Norway and Finland top the World Justice Project`s (WJP) 2021 Rule of Law Index. On 26 October 2022, the World Justice Project (WJP), an independent and multidisciplinary organisation, released its 2022 Rule of Law Index. The WJP surveyed citizens and experts in 140 countries and jurisdictions to measure the state of the rule of law. The index presents a portrait of the rule of law by providing scores and rankings based on eight factors: The World Justice Project has released its Rule of Law Index 2022, which surveys citizens and experts in 140 jurisdictions to measure the state of the rule of law. Among the many findings is the conclusion that there has been a global decline in the rule of law for the fifth consecutive year, i.e. the rule of law has weakened rather than improved in more countries in 2022.

In addition, the quality of the rule of law declined in seven of the eight factors measured, including absence of corruption, fundamental rights and open government. The index also points to the “widespread erosion of fundamental rights,” noting that respect for human rights has declined in 66 percent of the countries surveyed this year. More broadly, the index shows that between 2015 and 2022, the rule of law deteriorated in 64% of countries. The Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive rule of law measurement tool of its kind and, in addition to the above, measures multiple rule of law markers in 9 categories, including civil justice, order and security, and enforcement. The 2022 Index data highlights that in many jurisdictions, recent negative rule of law trends emerged before the health crisis and are expected to continue beyond, as part of a longer-term global rise in authoritarianism. Since 2015, the index has experienced a decline in the rule of law of 2.6% on average globally, a decline in 64% of the countries surveyed. The deterioration over this period was particularly marked for index factors measuring restrictions on governmental authority and fundamental rights, which declined in 68 per cent and 76 per cent of countries, respectively. Over the same seven-year period, 81% of the countries surveyed recorded a decline in the specific indicator measuring freedom of opinion and expression; and 85 per cent of countries experienced a deterioration in freedom of assembly and association.