Bulgaria at Bottom of Global Rule of Law Ranking

November 28, 2012, Wednesday // 05:36
Bulgaria at Bottom of Global Rule of Law Ranking: Bulgaria at Bottom of Global Rule of Law Ranking
The rule of law will be one of the main topics of discussion at the December 3 meeting in Washington DC of Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, with US President, Barack Obama. File photo

Bulgaria has scored poorly in 2012 when it came to the rule of law, according to an annual survey of 97 countries conducted by the World Justice Project, WJP.

The country is ranked 81st out of a total of 97, according to the ranking of the US NGO with the same name, showing Bulgaria lags behind compared to a number of European and Asian countries.

In the ranking, Bulgaria is behind Pakistan, Kenya, Cambodia, Russia and the Ukraine and ahead of Guatemala, Cote d'Ivoire, and Cameroon while Venezuela is last.

Denmark is first when it comes to rule of law. Among Bulgaria's neighbors, Greece is 46th, Macedonia is 41st, and Turkey is 71st.

Last year, Bulgaria was ranked 64th by its criminal justice out of 66 surveyed countries.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is a quantitative assessment tool offering a comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.

The Index consists of nine factors and 52 sub-factors.

The report, released Wednesday, is a product of five years of intensive development, testing, and vetting – including interviewing 97 000 members of the general public and more than 2 500 experts in the 97 countries, representing over 90 percent of the world's population.

In Bulgaria, the survey was conducted by Alfa Research.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is an assessment tool that offers a comprehensive picture of adherence to the rule of law. The 2012 report is the third in an annual series and includes, for the first time, a total of 97 countries and jurisdictions.

"The Index and its findings have been referenced in major global media, including The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and El Pa?s; stimulated discussions and actions on the rule of law in countries around the world; and been cited by heads of state and chief justices, as supporting evidence of the need to advance rule of law reforms in their countries," WJP writes in a press release.

Former Bulgarian right-wing President, Petar Stoyanov, who just days ago declined a nomination for constitutional judge, is one of the honorary co-Chairs of WJP, established in 2006.

The report is released just ahead of the visit of Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, to Washington DC for a meeting with US President, Barack Obama, when, according to the White House official press release, the rule of law will be one of the main topics of discussion.

When it comes to civil justice, Bulgaria ranks much better – 40th, but behind Romania, Senegal, and Malaysia, and ahead of Italy, Brazil, Turkey and Hungary. Norway is first in this ranking.

Regarding adherence to the law, Bulgaria is 55th, and 53rd by absence of corruption, behind Iran, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ecuador.

Cameroon is the most corrupted country in the world, while Sweden is first by the lack of corruption.

Bulgaria, however, has scored relatively well in fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and religion – 34th.

On a regional level, where 21 countries are surveyed, Bulgaria is compared with Hungary, Slovenia, Macedonia, Romania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and is 19th in criminal justice and 17th in preserving public order and security. Albania is 15th in criminal justice, Turkey – 13th, Greece - 16th, and Macedonia – 10th.

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