The World Justice Project, a US-based organization specializing in legal policy issues has ranked Egypt 110 out of 113 nations in its latest report on perceptions of how the rule of law is applied.
Egypt had received the same rank in 2016.
Egypt was ranked after Venezuela, Cambodia and Afghanistan in the Rule of Law Index 2017\2018, finishing last place out of the seven Middle Eastern nations listed, the top of which was the United Arab Emirates.
The report, which is based on the opinions of both ordinary citizens and “experts,” ranked Egypt low in all areas relating to the rule of law, including the justice system, regulatory enforcement, security issues, fundamental rights, government powers, and corruption.
Egypt scored particularly low in some areas, such as non-governmental oversight of governmental powers, the right to information, freedom of expression, and delays in regulatory enforcement.
However, those surveyed for the report gave more favorable scores for the effectiveness of criminal investigations, the absence of corruption in the justice system, and the general absence of crime in the country.
The reports’ 2017/2018 findings are derived from more than 110,000 household surveys and 3,000 expert surveys in 113 countries and jurisdictions.
“The Index is the world’s most comprehensive data set of its kind and the only to rely principally on primary data, measuring countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences,” the report says.
It aims to present a portrait of the rule of law in each country by providing scores and rankings organized around eight factors. These include constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.
Europe and Scandinavia ranked highly in the report, with the top seven places taken by Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. The United Kingdom was ranked in 12th place, while the United States was 19th.
The Index measures adherence to the rule of law by looking at policy outcomes, such as whether people have access to courts or whether crime is effectively controlled.
The Index also examines practical, everyday situations, such as whether people can access public services and whether a dispute among neighbors can be resolved peacefully and cost-effectively by an independent adjudicator, the report explains.
The World Justice Project is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC and founded by Bill Neukom, the former president of the American Bar Association. The oranization lists several members of the US political elite as honorary chairs, including former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former White House chief of staff James Baker. Also listed is Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair.
The political composition of the organization’s leadership and the conclusions it reaches have led to accusations that it is a politically motivated project, targeting nations that the United States and its allies wish to pressure. Among those nations consistently ranked low is Venezuela, which was at the bottom of the list for both 2015 and 2016. Venezuela has long accused the US government of seeking to bring about regime change, applying political, economic and other means.