Romania Ranks 38 out of 140 in Rule of Law Index

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  • 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index® finds rule of law fell globally for 5th consecutive year;
  • Authoritarian trends and some pandemic pressures continue in majority of countries;
  • Romania‘s score increased, ranks 27th out of 31 regionally.

For the fifth year in a row, the rule of law has declined globally, according to the 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®, released today.

The World Justice Project’s original data in 140 countries and jurisdictions shows that adherence to the rule of law fell in 61% of countries this year.

However, Romania is among the minority of countries to see its Rule of Law Index score increase this year.

Globally, 4.4 billion people live in countries where rule of law has declined over the past year.

“We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues,” said Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project (WJP). “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.”  

Index data shows that authoritarian trends that predate the pandemic—such as weaker checks on executive power and increased attacks on the media—continue to erode the rule of law globally.

However, declines are less widespread and extreme than last year, when Covid shutdowns dramatically disrupted justice systems, and governments exercised emergency powers that curtailed civic freedoms and bypassed transparency mechanisms.

Rule of law in Romania

Romania’s overall rule of law score increased by less than 1% in this year’s Index. It ranks 38th out of 140 countries worldwide, rising three positions since last year.

Significant trends for Romania included an improvement in the factor measuring Civil Justice.

Regionally, Romania ranks 27th out of 31 countries in the European Union, European Free Trade Association, and North America. The region’s top performer is Denmark (ranked 1st out of 140 globally), followed by Norway and Finland. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Croatia, Bulgaria, and Hungary (73rd globally).

In the last year, 13 out of 31 countries declined in the European Union, European Free Trade Association, and North America. Of those 13 countries, 4 had also declined in the previous year.

Among upper-middle income countries, Romania ranks 2nd out of 42.

Global rankings and trends

Globally, the top-ranked country in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2022 is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, then Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source of independent rule of law data. It draws on in-depth surveys with more than 154,000 everyday people and 3,600 legal practitioners and experts to measure rule of law across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. Factor scores are averaged to assign an overall rule of law score to each country.

Some of the biggest global declines this year were in the Index factors associated with rising authoritarianism and the longer-term erosion of rule of law. This year, respect for fundamental rights declined in two-thirds of countries. Checks on government powers—such as oversight by the judiciary, legislature, and media—fell in 58% of countries this year.

The other top factor driving this year’s global declines is Civil Justice, largely due to continued pandemic-related delays, weakened enforcement, and rising discrimination in civil justice systems. Scores for this factor fell in 61% of countries this year.

Romania‘s WJP Rule of Law Index rankings

Overall score global rank: 38 / 140

Overall score regional rank:  27 / 31

Factor score rankings:

FACTOR

GLOBAL RANK REGIONAL RANK* INCOME RANK**
Constraints on Government Powers

41/140

27/31

5/42

Absence of Corruption

52/140

28/31

11/42

Open Government

34/140

25/31

3/42

Fundamental Rights

38/140

26/31

4/42

Order and Security

32/140

23/31

1/42

Regulatory Enforcement

45/140

27/31

6/42

Civil Justice

32/140

20/31

2/42

Criminal Justice

49/140

27/31

10/42

 

(1 is best in WJP Rule of Law Index rankings)

 

To see Romania’s performance across all 44 subfactors the Index measures, visit: www.worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index/country/2022/Romania/

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