Antigua and Barbuda slips on Rule of Law Index

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Antigua and Barbuda has fallen five places on the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, which looks at governance in 113 countries. The 2017-2018 report was released at the end of January with the previous one being released in 2016. This year’s report sees the twin-island state coming in at 34. The Caribbean countries ahead of it are St. Kitts and Nevis at 28, Barbados at 30, and St. Lucia at 33. Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are ranked at 36 and 37 respectively, while the Bahamas gets a global ranking of 40 and Dominica, 41.
According to the report, Antigua and Barbuda’s ranking means it has a stronger than average adherence to the rule of law, though this is declining as indicated by the five place slippage. The report’s conclusions are drawn from eight areas: constraints on government powers; absence of corruption; open government; fundamental rights; order and security; regulatory enforcement; civil justice; and criminal justice.
The country scored highest on order and security with a 0.79 ranking from 1.00 which placed it third in the 30-country Latin America and Caribbean grouping. Civil justice scored 0.72, third in the region, while fundamentalrights attracted a 0.70 score for eighth in the region. Regulatory enforcement, 0.51 or 15th in the region; open government, 0.53 (12th); and constraints on government power, 0.59 (13th ) were the lowest scores attained by Antigua and Barbuda. It achieved a 0.60 ranking on the corruption indicator which was good for 11th in the region and 40th on the global ranking out of the 113 countries.
The WJP Index measures the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and incountry experts worldwide. The country scores and rankings for the latest Index were reportedly derived from more than 110,000 household surveys and 3,000 expert surveys in the countries and jurisdictions. The World Justice Project is an independent, multidisciplinary organisation working to advance the rule of law worldwide. It was founded in 2006 as a presidential initiative of the American Bar Association before transitioning to an independent entity in 2009.

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