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New Zealand Top in East Asia & Pacific on Rule of Law

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: November 28, 2012

New Zealand Top in East Asia & Pacific on Rule of Law, Says WJP Rule of Law Index 2012

Washington, DC–New Zealand ranks first in the East Asia & Pacific region in absence of corruption, open government and fundamental rights, and places in the top 10 in the world in seven of the eight dimensions measured by the Index, according to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2012 report.

Released this week in Washington, D.C., the report ranks countries across eight areas impacting on the rule of law: limits on government power, corruption, security, fundamental rights, open government, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. The report is the product of interviewing 97,000 members of the general public and more than 2,500 experts in 97 countries.

According to the report, “New Zealand stands out as the best performer in the region and is in the top ten in the world in seven of the eight dimensions measured by the Index. Government agencies and courts are efficient, transparent, and free of corruption. Fundamental rights are strongly protected. The judicial system is accessible, independent, and effective, but is perceived to be slow relative to other high income countries.”

Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore lead the East Asia & Pacific region in most dimensions of the rule of law.

“Achieving the rule of law is a constant challenge and a work in progress in all countries. The WJP’s Rule of Law Index is not designed to shame or blame, but to provide useful reference points for countries in the same regions, with comparable legal cultures and similar income levels,” said World Justice Project founder William H. Neukom.

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About the World Justice Project

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, nonprofit organization working to advance the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity worldwide. Its work is carried out through three complementary programs: Mainstreaming the rule of law including the convening of the World Justice Forum; the Rule of Law Index; and Research. The WJP’s multinational, multidisciplinary efforts are dedicated to stimulating government reforms, developing practical programs at the community level, and increasing public awareness about the concept and practice of the rule of law.

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