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Human Rights Declined in 3 out of 4 Countries since Global Rule of Law Recession Began in 2016

“The rule of law has once again eroded in a majority of countries this year, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2023. More than 6 billion people live in a country where the rule of law weakened between 2022 and 2023.  Since authoritarian trends pushed the world into a rule of law recession in 2016, the global downturn has affected 78% of countries, the latest Index shows.  The rule of law factor to decline most between 2016 and 2023 is Fundamental Rights—down in 77% of countries.   This and other authoritarian trends continued in 2023, but they are slowing, with fewer countries declining in 2022 and 2023 than in earlier years. On the other hand, declines in the functioning of justice systems are now spreading, with more countries struggling to provide people with timely, affordable, and accessible justice. The Index factor measuring Civil Justice was the factor that declined in the most countries this year.  “The world remains gripped by a rule of law recession characterized by executive overreach, curtailing of human rights, and justice systems that are failing to meet people’s needs,” said WJP co-founder and president William H. Neukom. “People around the world are paying the price.” The WJP Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source of original, independent rule of law data. Its rigorous methodology draws on expert and household surveys to measure rule of law in 142 countries and jurisdictions, covering 95% of the world’s population.  Each country’s score is an average of eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.”

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