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Singapore retains 9th spot in rule of law index

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FOR the second year running, Singapore was ranked ninth overall globally in a rule of law index released on Thursday.

FOR the second year running, Singapore was ranked ninth overall globally in a rule of law index released on Thursday.

The republic came out tops in two of eight categories - order and security; and regulatory enforcement - in the 2016 annual report measuring how the rule of law is experienced by the general public worldwide.

The report released by United States-based advocacy group World Justice Project (WJP) gave Singapore top marks for having low crime rate, effective regulatory enforcement and respect for due process, among other things.

Singapore was ranked second in the absence of corruption category, after Denmark.

Under open government and fundamental rights, Singapore came in 23rd and 31st respectively, out of 36 high-income countries.

The top three overall performers in the WJP index were Denmark, Norway and Finland, while the bottom three were Afghanistan, Cambodia and Venezuela.

When compared globally, countries in Western Europe and North America continued to top the index, followed by countries in the East Asia and Pacific region. On average, the South Asia region obtained the lowest scores.

Within East Asia and Pacific, New Zealand scored the highest, followed by Singapore and Australia.

Countries were evaluated using 44 indicators across eight primary rule of law factors, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers.

The factors are: constraints on government powers; absence of corruption; open government; fundamental rights; order and security; regulatory enforcement; civil justice and criminal justice.

Said William H Neukom, WJP founder and chief executive: "Effective rule of law is the foundation for communities of peace, equity and opportunity. No country has ever attained - let alone sustained - a perfect realisation of the rule of law. The WJP Rule of Law Index is intended to be a first step in setting benchmarks, informing and guiding reforms, and deepening appreciation and understanding for the foundational importance of the rule of law."

The 2016 edition has expanded coverage to 113 countries and jurisdictions from 102 in 2015, relying on more than 100,000 household and expert surveys worldwide.