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Greece Falls in Rule of Law World Index

Rule of Law
Greece has fallen to 48th out of 139 countries on the World Justice Project’s annual Rule of Law Index. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece has dropped eight positions in the World Justice Project’s latest Rule of Law Index, an annual global report that measures adherence to fundamental tenets of an open and functional government and society.

Greece is now ranked 48th out of 139 countries surveyed, according to the 2021 index. It provides scores and rankings based on eight categories: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

Denmark was the top country in the Rule of Law Index, followed by Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. The Netherlands was ranked as sixth followed by New Zealand, Luxembourg, Austria, and Ireland.

According to the index, effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from both major and more minor injustices. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.

Rule of Law Index
Greece ranked 48th out of 139 countries in the World Justice Project’s latest Rule of Law Index. Credit: World Justice Project

The index classifies Greece’s regional categorization within the European Union, European Free Trade Association, and North America. In that category of 31 countries, it ranked near the bottom in all eight metrics studied, including dead last in “Order and Security.”

The scores and rankings are pulled from more than 138,000 household surveys and 4,200 legal practitioner and expert surveys worldwide. The organization calls the index the “world’s most comprehensive dataset of its kind” and the only one to rely on primary data, “including the perspectives and experiences of ordinary people.”

Pakistan, which ranked 130th out of 139 countries, said it disputes the report. Officials in Pakistan said the findings were based on perception rather than reality, according to a report in the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Rule of Law Ranking Meant as Tool

The ranking is meant to be used as a tool to help identify strengths and weaknesses within each country, “and encourage policy choices, guide program development, and inform research to strengthen the rule of law within and across these countries and jurisdictions,” according to the survey.

In May, Greece dropped 38 places in the world rankings of press freedom, according to the annual report by Reporters Without Borders. Greece dropped from 70th place in 2021 to 108th in 2022, becoming the lowest-ranking country in the EU.

But Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also navigating his country’s economic comeback. On a two-day visit to the United States in May, he said Greece is back, and the Greek economy is on track after the economic crisis that led to rescue programs.

In early 2021, Greece moved up one spot on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks countries by their corruption levels as perceived by experts in the international community. The list does not measure actual levels of corruption but rather how others view the country in terms of the menace. Unsurprisingly, New Zealand and Denmark also consistently rank at the very top of that list.

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