Judicial Reforms

Rule of Law Index and India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rule of Law Index

Mains level : Rule of Law in India

The Supreme Court has asked the government to treat a writ petition for setting up expert panels to boost India’s prospects in the Rule of Law Index.

Note the various factors/sub-indices on which the index is measured. There can be a direct question on these in line with:

Q. Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’? CSP 2019

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

Why in news again?

  • The cause of action for the petition accrued when the World Justice Project ranked India in the 69th position in its Rule of Law Index.
  • India has never been ranked even among top 50 in the Index, but successive governments did nothing to improve the international ranking of India, said the petition.
  • Poor rule of law has a devastating effect on the right to life, liberty, economic justice, fraternity, individual dignity and national integration.

What is the Rule of Law Index?

  • The Rule of Law Index is a quantitative assessment tool by the World Justice Project (WJP) designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.
  • It measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors:

(1) Constraints on Government Powers, (2) Absence of Corruption, (3) Open Government, (4) Fundamental Rights, (5) Order and Security, (6) Regulatory Enforcement, (7) Civil Justice, and (8) Criminal Justice

WJP definition of Rule of Law

The World Justice Project defines the rule of law system as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  • The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
  • The laws are clear, publicized, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  • The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, efficient, and fair.
  • Justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

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