Luxembourg ranked 8th out of 140 countries worldwide for its application of the rule of law. Photo: NADER GHAVAMI

Luxembourg ranked 8th out of 140 countries worldwide for its application of the rule of law. Photo: NADER GHAVAMI

The World Justice Project, an international organisation focusing on the evolution of the rule of law worldwide, on 3 January presented its yearly index, which featured Luxembourg in its top ten.

Rule of law is continuing its descent for the fifth year in a row, the WJP said in its report.

However, Luxembourg managed to maintain its score of 0.83 [0 is the weakest score, 1 the strongest] and its position as the 8th highest country globally on the 2022 index. Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands topped the list. Venezuela, Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti found themselves at the bottom of the international ranking.

The WJP analysed justice systems in 140 countries for the index, looking at eight factors and 44 sub-factors, in what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has called “one of the most systematic approaches to conceptualising and measuring the rule of law” in the past.

The study analysed, among other criteria, how constitutionally and institutionally bound by law government agents and officials were, as well as the corruption levels within states. The openness of governments regarding information, the extent of fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice were also used to establish the scores.

Luxembourg ranked particularly high in the “order and security” category, with a score of 0.93 and coming 2nd worldwide. However, for constraints on government powers, criminal justice (both 13/140) and civil justice (12/140), the country did less well. The country remained above regional and global averages in all cases.

The grand duchy in 2021 had been told by the EU to address shortcomings for access to official documents and information for the press. A circular published in 2022 dictates that government communication agents have 24 hours to provide answers to journalists. Luxembourg in 2022 also introduced for members of government and senior advisers in the public service, as well as on jobs taken up by ministers leaving office.

The WJP notes in its 2022 report that the damage to rule of law was less dramatic than during the years of covid-19 shutdowns, which interfered with justice. However, “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,” Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project (WJP) stated in a press release.