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1 The WJP Rule of Law Index Alejandro Ponce The World Justice Project April, 2013.

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1 1 The WJP Rule of Law Index Alejandro Ponce The World Justice Project April, 2013

2 The WJP Rule of Law Index in a nutshell 2 The ROL Index is a quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice. Contribution: 1.Comprehensive definition of Rule of Law 2.New data: Views and experiences of random ordinary people Views and opinions of experts 3.Quantification of 48 rule of law outcomes in 97 countries obtained from more than 400 variables.

3 Motivation Consensus within the international community in support of the rule of law. Establishing respect for the rule of law is fundamental to achieving a durable peace in the aftermath of conflict, to the effective protection of human rights, and to sustained economic progress and development. (United Nations) Yet there is little agreement about what constitutes the rule of law and what its current status is

4 Challenges in defining the rule of law 1.Thin vs. thick 2.Ends vs. means 3.Western tradition

5 WJP Rule of Law Index


7 State DutiesChecks

8 Measurement Approach 8 1.Perspective of the ordinary person: 2.Two sources of entirely new data: A general population poll (GPP): Probability sample - 1,000 respondents per country (three largest cities). Qualified respondents questionnaires (QRQ): Completed by in-country experts in civil and commercial law; criminal justice; labor law; and public health. Botero J. and Ponce A., Measuring the Rule of Law. WJP Working Paper # 1 (2011). Available on-line at:

9 Examples of questions In the last 3 years, have you or someone in your household, been subjected to physical abuse by the police or the military? [If yes] Did you or anyone else report the crime to the police or other authority? (GPP) Assume that a poor person is arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery. Assume that the suspect is taken into custody and detained at a local police station in the city where you live. How likely is it that the police interrogators inflict minor physical harm on the detained suspect to admit the crime? (QRQ)

10 10 Measurement Approach

11 Building the scores 11 400 variables 48 sub-factors and 9 factors

12 8. Effective criminal justice Building the scores 8.1 Criminal investigation is effective. 8.2 Criminal adjudication system is timely and effective 8.7 Due process of law and the rights of the accused. - Presumption of innocence - Arrest and pre-trial detention - Torture and abusive treatment to suspects - Legal representation - Access to translators - Evidence - Rights of prisoners 30 questions


14 Validity checks 14 1.Face validity 2.Rely on several variables 3.Include the assessments of experts in different disciplines and the general public 4.Check our results against qualitative and quantitative third party sources. 5.Sensitivity analysis to assess how variation in the assumptions (including missing data, weighting, normalization, or aggregation) and the samples can alter our estimates

15 15 1) Definition: Different definitions and value structures (Uwa community in Colombia). Different legal architectures (Parliamentary democracy, presidential democracy, kingdom). Different goals (e.g. Criminal system: Retribution and deterrence in USA; rehabilitation and social harmony in Japan). 2) Measurement: Cross-cultural differences. Sensitive questions. Measurement error. 3) Sampling: Rural vs. urban. Acknowledging limitations


17 Rule of law in the world Aggregate rule of law score

18 Rule of law and GDP per capita

19 Civil justice in the U.S.


21 Eastern Europe and Central Asia Estonia: Ranks in the top 20 in 7 dimensions Russia: Deficiencies in checks and balances (92/97) Turkey: 39 th out of 97 in regulatory enforcement, 76 th in fundamental rights Aggregate rule of law score

22 Bribery in Sub-Saharan Africa Did you (or the person living in your household) have to pay a bribe in order to receive medical attention at any Public hospital or clinic?

23 Accountability EgyptIranJordanLebanonMoroccoTunisiaUAE In practice, the government's power is not concentrated in one person, but is distributed among different independent branches, for instance the President or Prime Minister, the Congress or Legislative body, and the judges. 0.580.260.650.900.680.640.38 Government officials are sanctioned for misconduct 0.490.350.550.390.48 0.71 Source: The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2012-2013

24 A tool for discussing country-specific findings

25 Colombia, November 15, 2010: (...) Another important organization that promotes justice around the world, the World Justice Project, just released its report entitled Rule of Law Index, and it includes Colombia… If we review the area of access to justice, we find that we get a score very close to zero on the effectiveness of the criminal investigation system… these reports, that are known on a global scale, must make us turn on our alarms. Youthe judiciaryand usthe government together with Congress, must put all our effort to achieving a more efficient and effective criminal justice system. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia Colombia: Argument for reform

26 Mexico: Delivery of Justice 26

27 0

28 For more information and data, please visit our website: Thank you

29 29 WJP Rule of Law Index


31 Definitions: Rachel Kleinfeld "Competing definitions of the Rule of Law" 1.Government bound by law 2.Equality before the law 3.Law and order 4.Predictable, efficient justice 5.Lack of state violation of human rights

32 32 Statistical Tests on the WJP Rule of Law Index In summary, the JRC analysis suggests that the conceptualized multi-level structure of the WJP Rule of Law Index is statistically coherent and no dimension is dominated by any of its underlying components. Country ranks across the eight dimensions are also fairly robust to methodological changes related to the estimation of missing data, weight, or aggregation rule (less than ± 1 position shift in 90% of all cases). Saisana, M., and Saltelli, A., Statistical Tests on the WJP Rule of Law Index 2011. Saisana, M., and Saltelli, A., Rankings and Ratings: Instructions for Use, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, 2011, Volume 3, Issue 2. Statistical tests of the WJP Rule of Law Index

33 Middle East and North Africa Discrimination against women and religions minorities remains an area of concern Imagine that the local police detain two persons equally suspected of committing a crime. In your opinion, which of the following characteristics would place one of them at a disadvantage?

34 Latin America & the Caribbean Global Ranking Limited government powers56 / 97 Corruption57 / 97 Order and Security72 / 97 Fundamental rights49 / 97 Open government52 / 97 Regulatory enforcement54 / 97 Civil Justice63 / 97 Criminal justice68 / 97

35 Sanctions for misconduct in LAC Example: Assume that a high-ranking government officer is taking government money for personal benefit and one of his employees witnesses this conduct, reports it to the relevant authority, and provides sufficient evidence to prove it. Assume that the press obtains the information and publishes the story. Which one of the following outcomes is most likely? (data for Mexico) Latin America, as a region, achieves the second lowest score in factor 1.5 Government officials are sanctioned for misconduct

36 Factor 7: Civil Justice 55% of Chinese respondents answered that judges decide most cases according to What the government tells them to do.

37 Middle East and North Africa Global Ranking Limited government powers53 / 97 Corruption46 / 97 Order and Security48 / 97 Fundamental rights76 / 97 Open government57 / 97 Regulatory enforcement49 / 97 Civil Justice46 / 97 Criminal justice54 / 97

38 Latin America & the Caribbean Chile and Uruguay rank in the top 25 in five dimensions Brazil: Best performer among BRIC countries, but crime is high Mexico: Weak in corruption, security, and criminal justice Venezuela is the weakest performer in the region Aggregate rule of law score

39 Sub-Saharan Africa Ghana ranks first among low-income countries in four dimensions Zimbabwe: Deficiencies in checks and balances (96/97) Botswana ranks first in the region in seven dimensions and top 25 globally in six. Corruption is a problem throughout the region Aggregate rule of law score

40 South Asia Global Ranking Limited government powers60/ 97 Corruption75 / 97 Order and Security82 / 97 Fundamental rights69 / 97 Open government71 / 97 Regulatory enforcement75 / 97 Civil Justice81 / 97 Criminal justice59 / 97



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