Highlights and data trends from the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019

Year: 2019

The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index® 2019 is the latest report in an annual series measuring the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country experts worldwide. The scores and rankings for the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 are derived from more than 120,000 household surveys and 3,800 expert surveys in 126 countries and jurisdictions. The Index is the most comprehensive dataset of its kind and is the world’s leading source for current, original data on the rule of law.

The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2019 Insights report offers top insights, highlights, and takeaways from the 2019 Index. Key findings include:

  • More countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a second year in a row, continuing a negative slide toward weaker rule of law around the world.
  • In a sign suggesting rising authoritarianism, “Constraints on Government Powers” declined in more countries than any other factor worldwide over the last year (61 countries declined, 23 stayed the same, 29 improved). Over the past four years, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia have lost the most ground in this dimension of the rule of law.
  • The second largest decline over the last year was seen in the area of “Criminal Justice,” followed by “Open Government” and “Fundamental Rights.” On a positive note, corruption continued to decline worldwide: for the second year, more countries improved in “Absence of Corruption” than declined.
  • The top three overall performers in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2019 were Denmark (1), Norway (2), and Finland (3); the bottom three were the Democratic Republic of Congo (124), Cambodia (125), and Venezuela (126). The top three performing countries have not changed since the 2016 edition of the Index.