UAE tops MENA region in terms of adherence to the laws

It also ranks highest in civil and criminal justice, absence of corruption, order and security

Sharjha UAE, moored boats in sea with Sharjha Court house. Image used for illustrative purposes

Sharjha UAE, moored boats in sea with Sharjha Court house. Image used for illustrative purposes

Getty Images/SM Rafiq Photography.

The UAE remains the best country in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of adherence to the laws, thanks to no corruption in the country and the best civil and criminal justice provided to the residents.

According to the latest World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021 released on Thursday, the UAE topped in the Mena region as it achieved the highest ranking in many sub-indices, including the absence of corruption, order, and security regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

Jordan came second among the other regional countries, followed by Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Iran, and Egypt.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is an annual report based on national surveys of more than 138,000 households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts around the world. The WJP’s framework for the rule of law covers eight factors – constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

The UAE maintained its global ranking at 37th on the index, which ranked 139 countries and jurisdiction.

Globally, the top three performers this year were Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, and Venezuela had the lowest overall rule of law scores. The countries with the biggest improvement in rule of law in the past year were Uzbekistan, Moldova and Mongolia.

“With negative trends in so many countries, this year’s WJP Rule of Law Index should be a wake-up call for us all. Rule of Law is the very foundation of communities of justice, opportunity and peace. Reinforcing that foundation should be a top priority for the coming period of recovery from the pandemic,” said Bill Neukom, co-founder and CEO of the World Justice Project.

The 2021 Index shows that more countries declined than improved in the overall rule of law performance for the fourth consecutive year.

In a year dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic, 74.2 per cent of surveyed countries experienced declines in the rule of law performance, while only 25.8 per cent improved. The 74.2 per cent of countries that experienced declines this year account for 84.7 per cent of the world’s population or approximately 6.5 billion people.

The declines were widespread and seen in all corners of the world. For the second year in a row, in every region, a majority of countries slipped backwards or remained unchanged in their overall rule of law performance.


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