Ghana performs poorly in Global Rule of Law Index

As the quality of rule of law in countries around the world falls, Ghana’s performance in the Global Rule of Law Index hasn’t seen any improvement.

According to the World Justice Project’s (WJP) original data in 140 countries and jurisdictions, adherence to the rule of law fell in 61 per cent of countries this year—including Ghana. Ghana’s score decreased, ranks 7th out of 34 in Africa.

The WJP Rule of Law Index evaluates 140 countries and jurisdictions around the world. The Index has been evaluating the rule of law around the world since 2008.

The Index copied to Ghana Business News, states that Ghana’s overall rule of law score decreased by less than 1 per cent in this year’s Index. The country ranks 58th out of 140 countries worldwide.

Regionally, Ghana ranks 7th out of 34 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The region’s top performer is Rwanda (ranked 42nd out of 140 globally), followed by Mauritius and Namibia. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Mauritania, Cameroon, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (137th globally),” it said.

Ghana’s WJP Rule of Law Index rankings

Overall score global rank: 58/140

Overall score regional rank:  7/34

Factor score rankings:


Constraints on Government Powers




Absence of Corruption




Open Government




Fundamental Rights




Order and Security




Regulatory Enforcement




Civil Justice




Criminal Justice




(1 is best in WJP Rule of Law Index rankings)

To see Ghana’s performance across all 44 subfactors the Index measures, visit: Rule of Law Index/Ghana

The Index notes that globally, 4.4 billion people live in countries where rule of law has declined over the past year.

Commenting on the Index, Elizabeth Andersen, Executive Director of the WJP said: “We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues. At its heart, rule of law is about fairness–that is, accountability, equal rights, and justice for all. And a less fair world is bound to be a more volatile one.”

The Index data shows that authoritarian trends that predate the pandemic—such as weaker checks on executive power and increased attacks on the media—continue to erode the rule of law globally.

However, it notes that, declines are less widespread and extreme than last year, when COVID-19 shutdowns dramatically disrupted justice systems, and governments exercised emergency powers that curtailed civic freedoms and bypassed transparency mechanisms.

Denmark is the top-ranked country globally, in the 2022 Index. Followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, then Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is a source of independent rule of law data, according to the publishers. It draws on in-depth surveys with more than 154,000 everyday people and 3,600 legal practitioners and experts to measure rule of law across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. Factor scores are averaged to assign an overall rule of law score to each country.

Some of the biggest global declines this year were in the Index factors associated with rising authoritarianism and the longer-term erosion of rule of law. This year, respect for fundamental rights declined in two-thirds of countries. Checks on government powers—such as oversight by the judiciary, legislature, and media—fell in 58 per cent of countries this year, the Index said.

The other top factor driving this year’s global declines is Civil Justice, largely due to continued pandemic-related delays, weakened enforcement, and rising discrimination in civil justice systems. Scores for this factor fell in 61 per cent of countries this year, it states.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi
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