Botswana is now ranked 51 out of 139 countries in terms of rule of law, according to the latest 2021 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index. Botswana overall rule of law score over time from 2015 to 2021 shows that the country had a high score of 0.64 in 2015, then dropped to 0.58 in 2016, 2017-18, then 0.59 in 2019 and 0.60 in 2020 and 0.59 in 2021.
Scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 indicating the strongest adherence to the rule of law.
Botswana’s overall score is based on 8 factors being constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. In terms of regional rankings, Botswana is ranked 4 out of 33 with the best in the region being Rwanda with a score of 0.62, Namibia in second place with a score of 0.62 and Mauritius in third with a score of 0.61.
Botswana is also ranked the best in the region in terms of criminal justice with a score of 0.58. In order to obtain a high score in this category, the criminal investigative system has to be effective, criminal adjudication system has to be timely and effective, correctional system is effective in reducing criminal behaviour, criminal justice has to be impartial, criminal justice has to be free of corruption, criminal justice has to be free of improper government influence and the basic rights of criminal suspects are respected.
The Index notes that “Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace–underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights”.
The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index® 2021 is the latest report in an annual series measuring the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country legal practitioners and experts worldwide. “In a year dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic, 74.2% of countries covered experienced declines in rule of law performance, while 25.8% improved. The 74.2% of countries that experienced declines this year account for 84.7% of the world’s population, or approximately 6.5 billion people,” said the WJP.