Bangladesh has moved up one notch in a global ranking of countries where the rule of law prevails, to 124th out of 139 countries across the world.

Its overall score in the index however declined to 0.40 from 0.41.

In South Asia, Bangladesh ranked 4th among six countries in the Rule of Law Index 2021 of the World Justice Project (WJP), an independent advocacy group founded in the United States.

Bangladesh's 124th position out of 139 territories worldwide and 4th out of six countries in South Asia comes amid declining rule of law scores across most of the globe, with the Covid-19 situation accentuating trends in weakening institutional checks and diminishing civic space.

Like the previous year, the top three global places for overall rule of law went to Denmark (score 0.90), Norway (0.90) and Finland (0.88) and Venezuela (score 0.27), Cambodia (0.32) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (0.35) this year too remained at the bottom of the WJP index released on Thursday.

Other countries in the top ten performers in the index are Sweden (4th), Germany (5th), Netherlands (6th), New Zealand (7th), Luxembourg (8th), Austria (9th) and Ireland (10th).

Despite the improvement, Bangladesh remains just ahead of Afghanistan and Pakistan (with the global rankings of 134th and 130th respectively) in the South Asia. Nepal topped in this region with the global 70th position, which was followed by Sri Lanka and India with 76th and 79th positions respectively.

Performance is determined using 44 indicators across eight main rule of law factors, each scored and ranked globally and regionally.

The factors are constraints on government power, government openness, corruption, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, and criminal and civil justice systems.

Bangladesh performed worst in fundamental rights factor and then criminal justice. Its score is 0.31 in fundamental rights and 0.32 in criminal justice, 0.35 in absence of corruption, 0.37 in constraints on government powers, 0.38 in civil justice, 0.40 in regulatory enforcement, 0.42 in open government and 0.63 in order and security.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is a report that measures the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country legal practitioners and experts worldwide.

The scores and rankings in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2021 are derived from more than 138,000 household surveys and 4,200 legal practitioner and expert surveys worldwide.

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