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UAE ahead of US in justice index

Wam / 7 July 2011

The UAE has been ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the 13th rank globally in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index which covers 66 countries.

According to the index, the UAE came ahead of the United States which ranked 20.

The WJP’s Rule of Law Index is a new tool developed and administered by the WJP to measure countries’ adherence to the rule of law in practice and provides new data regarding a variety of dimensions of the rule of law.

This is the first index to cover the rule of law comprehensively. The index is designed to provide governments, businesses, NGOs, and civil society, with a tool to plan targeted, effective reforms, and will show incremental change over the course of time.

The index is based on eight factors — limited government powers, absence of corruption, order and security, fundamental rights, open government, regulatory enforcement, access to civil justice and effective criminal justice.

In order and security, the UAE scored 90, absence of corruption 82 and effective criminal justice 84.

The report described the government as accountable  and its powers are limited by judiciary.

It also mentioned the absence of corruption in the judicial and executive branches as well as in police and military.

The report also noted that government officials are sanctioned for misconduct.

In the security and fundamental rights, the Index said people do not resort to violence to redress grievances and noted the fundamental labour rights, freedom of belief and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, equal treatment and absence of discrimination and right to life and security of the person.

The UAE also earned top score in access to justice as people can access to legal counsel, and afford civil courts under due process of law. The report indicated that the criminal system and civil justice are free of improper government influence, corruption, discrimination and not subject to

unreasonable delay. “Laws are clear, stable and publicised, the government does not expropriate without adequate compensation and government regulations are effectively enforced,” the report added, noting that people have the right to petition and public participation.

Commenting on the landmark achievement, Minister of Justice Dr. Hadef Al Dhahiri, said the top ranking was a fruit of the far-sighted vision

of the wise leadership which gives top priority to the rule of law and justice. “The high score is a vote of confidence from a respected international agency in the federal and local judicial system, the minister added.

As he congratulated the personnel in the judicial sector, the minister urged them to do their best in the service of their homeland and of the rule of law and justice.

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