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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

HK slips three notches to rank 22nd in Rule of Law Index

HK slips three notches to rank 22nd in Rule of Law Index

The adherence to the rule of law has declined globally for the fifth year in a row, according to the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index released today. Hong Kong's overall score decreased by 2.8 percent and ranked 22nd out of 140 countries and jurisdictions worldwide.
The World Justice Project's data shows that adherence to the rule of law fell in 61 percent of countries and jurisdictions this year. Globally, 4.4 billion people live in countries where the rule of law has declined.

The overall index score of Hong Kong is 0.73, down 0.02 compared to last year, with the most significant decrease seen in "Constraints on government powers" and "Civil Justice" factors.

The city ranks 6th out of 15 countries and jurisdictions in East Asia and the Pacific. The region's top performer is New Zealand (ranked 7th globally), followed by Australia (ranked 13th globally) and Japan (ranked 16th globally).

Singapore ranked 17th, South Korea ranked 19th, and China ranked 95th worldwide.

WJP added that in last year's index, 10 out of 15 countries and jurisdictions declined in East Asia and the Pacific. Six of those 10 countries and jurisdictions had also fallen in the previous year.

Globally, the top-ranked country in the Index is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, then Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.

"We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues," said Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the WJP.

Index data shows that authoritarian trends that predate the pandemic—such as weaker checks on executive power and increased attacks on the media—continue to erode the rule of law globally.

However, declines are less widespread and extreme than last year, when Covid shutdowns dramatically disrupted justice systems, and governments exercised emergency powers that curtailed civic freedoms and bypassed transparency mechanisms.

The Rule of Law Index is the world's leading source of independent rule of law data. It draws on in-depth surveys with more than 154,000 everyday people and 3,600 legal practitioners and experts to measure the rule of law across eight factors. Factor scores are averaged to assign an overall rule of law score to each country.

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