Malaysia rises 4 spots to 47th in WJP Rule of Law Index

KUALA LUMPUR (March 11): Malaysia has risen four notches to rank 47 in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2020.

WJP is an independent, multidisciplinary organisation to create knowledge, build awareness, and stimulate action to advance the rule of law worldwide.

In a statement today, WJP said Malaysia’s overall rule of law score increased 5.1% in this year’s index.

It said significant trends for Malaysia included an improvement in the factors measuring Constraints on Government Powers, Fundamental Rights, Regulatory Enforcement, and Civil Justice.

Malaysia’s score places it at no. 7 out of 15 countries in the East Asia and Pacific region, and no. 12 out of 42 among upper middle income countries.

It said that regionally, East Asia and Pacific’s top performer in the index was New Zealand followed by Australia and Singapore.

The three countries with the lowest scores in the region were the Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Denmark, Norway, and Finland topped the WJP Rule of Law Index rankings in 2020.

Venezuela, Cambodia and Democratic Republic of the Congo had the lowest overall rule of law scores — the same as in 2019.

WJP said more countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a third year in a row, continuing a negative slide towards weakening and stagnating rule of law around the world.

It said the majority of countries showing deteriorating rule of law in the 2020 index also declined in the previous year, demonstrating a persistent downward trend.

“This was particularly pronounced in the Index factor measuring Constraints on Government Powers.

“The declines were widespread and seen in all corners of the world. In every region, a majority of countries slipped backward or remained unchanged in their overall rule of law performance since the 2019 WJP Rule of Law Index,” it said.

WJP founder and chief executive officer William H. Neukom said the rule of law is not just a matter for judges or lawyers.

“It is the bedrock of communities of justice, opportunity, and peace.

“We are all stakeholders in the rule of law and therefore we all have a role to play in upholding it,” he said.

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