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Official to meet WJP over rule of law index

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Justice ministry spokesman Chin Malin. Heng Chivoan

Official to meet WJP over rule of law index

A senior Ministry of Justice official will meet the regional director of the World Justice Project (WJP) and its working group to question their research and evaluation procedures to determine Cambodia’s ranking of 138 out of 139 countries on their 2021 Rule of Law Index.

Justice ministry spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on October 17 that the meeting with the WJP regional director and working group is warranted because the WJP’s evaluation is questionable.

“We all know that some countries have far worse human rights and democracy and rule of law environments than Cambodia, but they ranked higher.

“For example, some countries are ruled by authoritarian and communist regimes and a single political party; others are ruled by military juntas and some countries are also experiencing civil wars and coups, but they still ranked higher on the index,” he said.

The WJP Rule of Law Index 2021 released last week evaluated the rule of law in 139 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. It said the rule of law had deteriorated in more than half of the countries studied, estimating that 4.7 per cent of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in countries where the rule of law was in decline.

The WJP placed three European countries at the top of the index for implementing the rule of law this year – Denmark was first, Norway second and Finland third. The three countries with the lowest ranking were Venezuela at 139th, Cambodia 138th and Congo 137th.

In the Asia-Pacific, Cambodia ranked far lower than other countries in the region. WJP had even ranked Cambodia worse than Myanmar which is 128th, the Philippines 102th, Vietnam 88th and Thailand 80th.

“So, the key purpose of this meeting is to discuss and understand the methods they used; evaluation procedures; and what they had based as principles and conditions for the evaluation. We want to know especially how information was gathered, sources of information, survey questions, groups used to conduct the survey and target groups whom they surveyed,” he said.

Malin added that the meeting aimed to strengthen cooperation for the next assessment, which should be based on all sources of information, including the government side, otherwise the information received could be one-sided and the results biased.

In 2020, WJP ranked the rule of law in Cambodia at 127th, the second lowest of the 128 countries.

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