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SC on Writ Petition Concerning Rule of Law Index 2020

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WJP Rule of Law Index 2020Overview

Date               –  June 18th
Petitioner       –  Ashwini Upadhyay, apex court lawyer

The Supreme Court asked the government to treat a writ petition, for setting up expert panels to improve India’s performance in the Rule of Law Index, as a “representation” and to decide further action within 6 months’ time.

  • India was Ranked 69th in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2020
  • India has never been ranked even among top 50 in the Index, but successive governments did nothing to improve the international ranking of India.

Petitioners Argument

The petitioner had claimed that the nation’s ranking in the Index “confirms poor performance in eight sectors –  constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, public order and security, regulatory enforcement and civil and criminal justice”.

He also argued that “poor rule of law has a devastating effect on right to life, liberty, economic justice, fraternity, individual dignity and national integration”.

Demand of the Petitioner

  • To constitute expert committees to study and examine the best practices of the countries ranked among top 20 in Rule of Law Index-2020
  • To utilise the so gained knowledge in order to take steps to improve the “pathetic ranking” of India.

Country Overall Score Global Rank
India 0.51 69
Denmark 0.90 1
Norway 0.89 2
Finland 0.87 3
Congo 0.34 126
Cambodia 0.33 127
Venezuela 0.27 128

About Rule of Law Index

  • It is an Index released by an Independent Organisation named World Justice Project(WJP)
  • The index Covers 128 countries and is a quantitative assessment tool that attempts to measure the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.

Measuring factors of the Index

  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
  8. Criminal Justice.

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.

About WJP

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an international civil society organization with the stated mission of “working to advance the rule of law around the world”.

The WJP works through three programs — Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement. WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate government reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.

It was founded by William H. Neukom in 2006 as a presidential initiative of the American Bar Association and with the support of 21 partners. The World Justice Project became an independent non-profit organization in 2009.

Its offices are located in Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Washington