Jan 31 2018

Turkey among world’s worst for rule of law – World Justice Project

Turkey has fallen to the 101st position out of 113 countries in the World Justice Project’s 2017-18 Rule of Law Index, a comprehensive measure of the rule of law.

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, U.S.-based organisation that aims to advance the rule of law around the world. Its Rule of Law Index is an annual report that measures the rule of law around the world, using primary data and expert opinions. The WJP claims this is the most comprehensive report of its kind in the world.

There has been widespread concern that fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey have starkly eroded since a state of emergency was announced after the failed coup attempt in July 2016. This was reflected in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Report this year, which downgraded Turkey’s status to “not free”.

An incident illustrating Turkey's problematic rule of law came this January, when a local court overrode the decision by the Constitutional Court to release two journalists imprisoned in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

Turkey slipped two places on the WJP list this year to 101st, joint with Myanmar, and below Nicaragua, Madagascar and Nigeria. Turkey was nine places above Egypt, and just 12 higher than the bottom-placed Venezuela.

The WJP’s report placed Turkey’s rule of law as the worst in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the second worst of upper-middle income countries, above Venezuela.

 

Rule of law
Image taken from World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index 2017-18

The WJP decide on their ranking by each countries performance across eight aggregated factors, including constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

Turkey was ranked in the bottom tercile in six of these eight areas. The two areas in which it achieved an average grade were absence of corruption and criminal justice.

Rule of law index
Turkey's results from the 2017-18 Rule of Law Index. From the World Justice Project.

Turkey’s constraints on government powers were marked particularly harshly by WJP, coming in 111st place above only Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Turkey’s record on fundamental rights, too, was near the bottom of the list, in 107th position, one above China and one below Bangladesh. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression achieved particularly dismal results in this category.

The original report can be found here.