Not long ago, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index released its list of nations with the best legal systems in the world. The Index measures the rule of law adherence as well as how independent the judicial system is from the influences of the government, individuals, or companies across 137 countries.
This high score has been attributed to new judicial reforms as well as a new constitution adopted in 2004. Prior to the reform, cases would reportedly take up to 20 years to be concluded..
The report ranks Rwanda as the first in Africa, followed by Namibia, Egypt, then Mauritius and finally, South Africa. Rwanda was ranked 23rd globally. It scored 5.6 out of 7 surpassing USA, France and Germany.
Rwanda is stepping up standards for Africa
Reacting to his country’s place on the list, Johnston Busingye, the Rwandan Minister of Justice and Attorney General told The New Times: “This ranking speaks to the judiciary’s guiding principle to be and to be seen to be independent and impartial, as well as the effort put into it by multiple stakeholders and sustained human and material capacity building over the years.”
He added: “The ranking doesn’t mean that all is perfect, but as you can see even the first country globally doesn’t have 100 per cent. For us it means our judiciary has come of age; it’s the reason for sustained confidence and trust.” For the sector, the Attorney General said that the WEF rating means that Rwanda’s judiciary’s “wide approach” is paying off. “It is a result of multiple sector stakeholder efforts; recognition of judicial independence is the key badge every justice sector wants to wear.”
For Namibia, the country’s decision to establish an independent body of the judiciary separate from the Ministry of Justice has really improved its judicial independence.
We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed.
Meanwhile, the African countries with the least independent judiciary are the Democratic Republic of the Congo also known as the DRC (127 globally with a ranking of 2.4), Burundi (131 globally with a score of 2.3) and least of all Chad with a globally ranking of 134 and a low score of 2.1.