Bangladesh ranked 124th out of 139 countries on the Rule of Law Index 2021, rising one position from last year, the World Justice Project (WJP) reported on Thursday.
This year, Bangladesh scored 0.40 out of 1, where 1 indicates the strongest adherence to the rule of law. Last year, the country's score was 0.41.
Bangladesh's score placed it at 4th position out of 6 countries assessed in the South Asia region.
Nepal was the top performer in the region with a global ranking of 70 and scored 0.52. The country was followed by Sri Lanka at 76 and India at 79.
Afghanistan and Pakistan had the lowest scores in the region, ranking 134th and 130th in the world, respectively.
Globally, Denmark, Norway, and Finland topped the WJP Rule of Law index while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, and Venezuela had the lowest overall rule of law scores.
The WJP is an independent, multidisciplinary organisation working to create knowledge, build awareness, and stimulate action to advance the rule of law worldwide.
The index is an annual report based on surveys of more than 1,38,000 households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide. The period of data collection was October 2020 through May 2021.
The index is based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. These factors are made up of 44 sub-factors.
Among all factors, Bangladesh achieved its best score and ranking in "order and security". The sub-factors are: crime is effectively controlled; civil conflict is effectively limited; and people do not resort to violence to redress personal grievances. The country's score on that factor was 0.63, and it was ranked 2nd among 6 South Asian countries.
It is followed by the "open government" factor that comprises four sub-factors: publicised laws and government data; the right to information; civic participation; and complaint mechanisms. Bangladesh's score on that factor was 0.42, and it was ranked 5th in South Asia.
Bangladesh's scores and regional rankings on the other six factors were 0.40 and 4th on "regulatory enforcement", 0.38 and 5th on "civil justice", 0.37 and 6th on "constraints on government powers", 0.35 and 4th on "absence of corruption" 0.32 and 5th on "criminal justice" and 0.31 and 6th on fundamental rights.
Deterioration in rule of law is spreading worldwide
This year's index shows that more countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for the fourth consecutive year.
In a year dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic, 74.2% of surveyed countries experienced declines in rule of law performance, while only 25.8% improved.
The 74.2% of countries that experienced declines this year account for 84.7% of the world's population, or approximately 6.5 billion people.
The declines were widespread and seen in all corners of the world. For the second year in a row, in every region, a majority of countries slipped backward or remained unchanged in their overall rule of law performance.