3 December 2012
The 2012 World Justice Project’s Rule of Law survey results were published last week. In many ways this survey is the most comprehensive collation of measures which indicate the quality of government in the countries surveyed – there are 98 jurisdictions in the 2012 survey. It does not have the profile of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (the 2012 CPI will be available in New Zealand on Thursday) but has a broad range of sector assessments which enable more meaningful international comparisons.
The subfactors displayed in graphic form (see the link below) highlight by how much New Zealand falls below international good practice on a number of the measures.
The survey evaluates the way countries give effect to the “four universal principles” of the rule of law. These principles are’
- Accountable Government: The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
- Security and Fundamental Rights: The laws are clear, publicised, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
- Open Government and Regulatory Enforcement: The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, efficient, and fair.
- Delivery of Justice: 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.
A concern for New Zealand is that its ranking is sliding markedly compared with the two previous Rule of Law surveys. Most notable is the drop in the corruption measure with New Zealand now seen as being more corrupt than all the Scandinavian countries.
New Zealand remains in the “top ten” places on seven of eight dimensions. Some of the movement down the league can be explained by 32 more jurisdictions being assessed than last year.
|New Zealand||2012 (98 states)||2011 (66 states)|
|Limited government powers||6th||2nd|
|Absence of corruption||6th||1st|
|Order and security||12th||12th|
|Limited govt. powers||Absence of corruption||Order and security||Fund’al rights||Open govt.||Reg’y enf’mt||Civil justice||Criminal justice|
|6||New Zealand||New Zealand||Sweden||Spain||Canada||Norway||Denmark||Ne’thds|
|New Zealand||New Zealand||Germany|
New Zealand 12th