Once again, Venezuela ranks last in the Rule of Law Index. Countries like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Sierra Leone and even Russia outrank our tropical paradise.
But this is not just another thing we suck at; this means the government has been able to rule above and beyond the law, with not a care in the world. Stop and think about that for a minute.
To measure the rule of law, the World Justice Project (WJP) considers the experiences and perceptions of the general public and those of in-country experts worldwide. Moreover, the WJP measures adherence to the rule of law by looking at policy outcomes and not the written law or institutional status.
To calculate the Index, eight key factors are considered:
- The extent to which those who govern are bound by law;
- The level of corruption in the government;
- The extent to which a government shares information, empowers people with tools to hold it accountable and fosters citizen participation in public policy deliberations;
- The extent to which the law fails to respect core Human Rights established under international law;
- The extent to which society guarantees personal security;
- The extent to which regulations are fairly and effectively enforced;
- The extent to which ordinary people can resolve their grievances peacefully and effectively through the civil justice system;
- The country’s criminal justice system.
Of the 113 countries in the study, Venezuela ranks last in factors one, six and eight, meaning Venezuela is the country with the most unfair and poorly enforced regulations, the worst criminal justice system and the least constraints on government powers. In the other categories, the score varies a little but Venezuela is, at best, the 11th worst.
The rule of law is meant to protect us, citizens, from the abuse of power. Without it, we are at the expense of the Maduro government.
This is not just another thing a new government will have to tackle; ensuring the rule of law is key to rebuild our democracy, our economy and our society. With no rule of law, there’s hardly a state, guys.