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Jordan 2nd regionally in adherence to rule of law

Kingdom ranks 42nd worldwide among 113 surveyed countries

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Feb 03,2018 - Last updated at Feb 03,2018

AMMAN — Jordan has ranked 2nd country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 42nd worldwide in the 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index recently issued by the World Justice Project (WJP), which assesses the adherence to the rule of law of a total of 113 countries around the world based on over 110,000 households and 3,000 expert surveys. 

The performance of each country was measured using 44 indicators across eight primary factors, including constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

The Kingdom was grouped among those countries showing improvements in their adherence to the rule of law, and performed the best in the criminal justice category standing at the 27th position worldwide, followed by regulatory enforcement (31st) and absence of corruption (32nd). 

However, Jordan´s median score was lowered by the country’s performance on the open government and fundamental
rights categories, where the Kingdom ranked 79th and 76th respectively.  

Linda Al Kalash, director of the Tamkeen Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, told The Jordan Times that “it is true that Jordan is improving its performance in the rule of law”. However, the expert called for more attention to migrant workers in the domestic and the agricultural field by ensuring them fair trial in case they are prosecuted for any reason. 

For his part, human rights researcher Sulaiman Sweis agreed that Jordan is not a police state, but more work is still required to render it a full fledged civil state, where there is complete harmony between the constitutional provisions, the laws based on them and the practice of the law in everyday life. 

At a regional level, the UAE was the top performer across the MENA region standing at the 32nd worldwide position, while Jordan was closely followed by Tunisia (54th), Morocco (67th) and Iran (80th).

However, both Morocco and the UAE showed statistically significant decreases in their scores due to their performance in absence of corruption, while Iran climbed six positions as compared to the prior ranking.

Regarding the global picture, the great majority of countries worldwide saw their scores decline since the publication of the last Rule of Law Index in October 2016 in the areas of human rights, checks on government powers, and civil and criminal justice.


“Effective rule of law is the foundation for communities of equity, opportunity and peace, but no country has achieved a perfect realisation of the rule of law,” WJP founder and CEO William Neukom said, noting that “the Rule of Law Index is intended to be a first step in setting benchmarks, informing reforms, stimulating programmes, and deepening appreciation and understanding for the foundational importance of the rule of law”.

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