Uganda’s Rule of Law score increases, but challenges remain globally.
The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2023 reports a continued erosion of the rule of law in many countries, with a few exceptions including Uganda. This index measures the state of the rule of law worldwide. Uganda’s score improved, placing it 125th out of 142 countries surveyed. It also ranked 28th out of 34 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top-performing countries in the region are Rwanda (41st globally), Namibia, and Mauritius, while Tanzania ranks 98th and Kenya 101st globally.
In terms of low-income countries, Uganda stands at the 13th position out of 18. The index highlights a decline in fundamental rights in 77% of countries, including Uganda, between 2016 and 2023. Civil justice scores fell in 66% of countries due to justice delays and weaker enforcement. Uganda, however, saw an improvement in its Civil Justice score.
The WJP president, William Neukom, noted that many countries are grappling with a rule of law recession marked by executive overreach, curtailment of human rights, and justice systems that fail to meet people’s needs.
Globally, Denmark leads the 2023 WJP Rule of Law Index, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Germany. Venezuela, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo rank at the bottom. Sudan, Mali, Iran, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan have experienced significant declines in rule of law in the past year, while Bulgaria, Honduras, Kenya, Slovenia, and Jordan have shown the most improvement in their scores.
The WJP Rule of Law Index relies on extensive data from household surveys and legal practitioners and experts’ opinions to assess how the rule of law is experienced and perceived globally.