ISLAMABAD – Pakistan ranked 96 overall among a total of 99 countries in the Rule of Law Index 2014, released by the World Justice Project.
This rank is based on a set of 47 indicators built around nine factors: constraints on government powers; absence of corruption; open government; fundamental rights; order and security; regulatory enforcement; civil justice; criminal justice; and informal justice.
The Rule of Law Index is the fourth report in an annual series. The index is the world’s most comprehensive data set of its kind and the only to rely solely on primary data, measuring a nation adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of how ordinary people experience it.
This year country scores and rankings include the latest data collected and processed by the project, based on more than 100,000 household and expert surveys in 99 countries and jurisdictions. Pakistan, ranking 96th overall, shows weaknesses in most dimensions when compared to its regional and income peers.
The country strongest performance is in the area of constraints on government powers (ranking 73rd globally and 14th among income peers), due to a relatively independent judiciary and comparatively effective oversight by the legislature and non-governmental checks. However, corruption is common in all branches of government (ranking 91st), administrative agencies are ineffective in enforcing regulations (ranking 95th), and impunity for official misconduct of government officials is prevalent.
While serious human rights violations are common, including violations to the right to life and security of the person, the country affords greater protection to the freedoms of speech and assembly than most of its income and regional peers. The most significant rule of law challenge facing Pakistan is in the area of order and security (ranking last in the world), due to civil conflict, terrorism, crime and the use of violence to resolve personal grievances.
Despite the relative independence of the courts, the judicial system is slow and ineffective, and it is affected by corruption, due process of law violations, and the poor condition of correctional facilities. The index was released by the World Justice Project and the fieldwork for the survey in Pakistan was conducted by the Gallup Pakistan.
The survey was carried out among a representative sample of 1000 respondents in the three largest cities of Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. This data was complemented by assessments from an average of 24 qualified respondents per country, which include professionals with expertise in civil and commercial law, criminal justice, labor law, and public health.