The World Justice Project (WJP)’s Rule of Law Index 2015, a new global report that ranks countries’ adherence to the rule of law, has ranked Nigeria 96th out of the 102 countries measured.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is an annual report that measures how the rule of law is experienced by the general public in 102 countries worldwide.

Among the 18 African countries measured, the report put Botswana in the top spot, ranking 31st out of the 102 countries measured, while the worst African performer was Zimbabwe in the 100th position.

Ghana came second in Africa, South Africa came third, and Senegal came fourth. Kenya came 12th, Ethiopia 14th and Nigeria 16th.

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The WJP report, issued in Washington uses eight yardsticks to assess how the rule of law is experienced. It seeks to measure constraints on government powers; corruption; the openness of government; fundamental rights; order and security; enforcement of regulations; civil justice; and criminal justice.

The top three overall performers in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2015 are Denmark (1), Norway (2), and Sweden (3); while the bottom three are Zimbabwe (100), Afghanistan (101), and Venezuela (102).

The index relies on over 100,000 household and 2,400 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by ordinary people around the world.

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Performance is assessed using 47 indicators across eight categories, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.

“Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, alleviate poverty, improve public health and education, and protect people from injustices and dangers large and small,” says William Neukom, WJP Founder and CEO. “Wherever we come from, the rule of law can always be strengthened.”

The World Justice Project is an independent, multidisciplinary organisation working to advance the rule of law around the world. The organisation believes 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 peace, opportunity, and equity-underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.

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The WJP Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive index of its kind and the only to rely solely on primary data. The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents (1,000 respondents per country) and local legal experts, which ensure that the findings reflect the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalised sectors of society.