The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) challenged the World Justice Project (WJP) report, which found that the country ranked among the lowest ranked countries in terms of rule of law, with 130 out of 139. “Pakistan`s judicial system has always upheld the rule of law and ensured that cases are dealt with promptly. The NJPMC decided that Pakistan`s judicial system would not disappoint the people, and the courts were engaged and steadfast during the Covid pandemic. In 2021-2022, the courts decided 5.62 million cases against institutions out of 5.47 million, thus reducing the backlog, reflecting the commitment of the judiciary to ensure the resolution of cases, as provided for in the national judicial policy against all odds, as well as the confidence of the Pakistani people in the courts, as also stated in WJP, State of Law Report 2017. The World Justice Project`s (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021 report released in October 2021 ranked Pakistan among the lowest countries in terms of respect for the rule of law (ranked 130th out of 139 countries). The WJC defines the rule of law on four (04) principles: accountability, just justice, open government and accessible and impartial justice. The index measures the rule of law in countries around the world based on public experience and perception based on nine (09) factors monitored under “Limitation of Government Power, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Human Rights, Security and Order, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, Criminal Justice and Informal Justice”. At first glance, the theoretical evaluation framework of the WJP (the 4 principles, 9 factors and 44 sub-factors) appears sound, but the assessment of its implementation by the Law and Justice Commission in general and for Pakistan in particular reveals some avoidable gaps. Some are listed here: – Only two of the nine factors used to determine the rule of law index in countries relate to the judicial system, namely: civil justice and criminal justice, while the other seven relate to the system of government, the effectiveness of the executive branch and the conduct of society. In civil justice, Pakistan ranked 124th out of 139 jurisdictions in the world, while in criminal justice, it ranked 108th out of 139 countries.
It should also be noted that in addition to the judiciary, these two factors also affect other state departments such as the police, the prosecutor`s office, prisons, and the legal community, including the public. It is added that in a traditional and heterogeneous society, the casual behaviour of the public in dealing with disputes prevents its speedy resolution. However, these underlying factors are nowhere subject to judicial scrutiny in the country and have been neglected in the report. The methodology used to obtain the results raised a number of questions, such as: The General Population Survey (GPP) was not renewed when the 2021 Rule of Law Index was released. In Pakistan, Gallup Pakistan conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,000 respondents from unidentified cities in 2019, which were also used for the 2020 index and the current year`s index ranking. Not only were the selected respondents regionally limited, but no information was added on whether they were directly exposed to a legal or judicial service in Pakistan or whether they had experience of interaction. The survey, which is based on such a small sample, limited areas and an unrepresentative sample, does not accurately reflect the opinion of 230 million inhabitants. In addition, the data collected was based on a “presumption scenario” and respondent “perception,” with no actual statistics being used in the evaluation. It should be noted that neither the LJCP nor the corresponding data on its website or in similar entities have been taken into account in assessing the results achieved in the administration of justice in Pakistan. The title of the report “Rule of Law Index” also gives the impression that it focuses on the performance of the State`s judicial body.
The inherent problem with the term “rule of law” is that it is a commonly used but rarely defined term. A globally accepted definition of the rule of law has yet to be agreed upon by nations. In this context, a distinction must be made between the judicial system and the rule of law. It seems that the report does not appreciate the relationship between the two. Pakistan`s judicial system has always respected the rule of law and ensured that cases are dealt with expeditiously. The NJPMC decided that Pakistan`s judicial system would not disappoint the people, and the courts were engaged and steadfast during the Covid pandemic. In 2021-2022, the courts decided 5.62 million cases against the institution by 5.47 million, reducing the backlog. It reflects the commitment of the judiciary to ensure the speedy resolution of cases, as provided for in the national judicial policy against all odds, as well as the confidence of the Pakistani people in the courts, as outlined in the WJP`s 2017 Rule of Law Report. The Secretariat of the Law and Justice Commission wrote to the Executive Director of the World Justice Project, Washington, D.C., on 23 June 2022 in its email (email@example.com) regarding the above-mentioned concerns. The World Justice Project was requested to examine the issues raised above prior to a future evaluation in order to give a true and accurate picture, particularly with regard to the Pakistani judicial system.
The WJP did not respond with details on how to contact their team. The email address provided on the site is generic and there is no confirmation of receipt of our letter. We look forward to hearing a response from the WJP to the LJCP`s concerns. While the WJP`s flagship Rule of Law Index® provides aggregated values on the rule of law, this report presents disaggregated question-level data in the form of 12 issue notes to highlight the different facets of the rule of law as experienced by the people of Pakistan. These pleadings address issues of accountability, corruption, fundamental freedoms, criminal justice and civil justice, as well as perspectives on women, internally displaced persons and refugees. Together, these briefing notes provide an overview of the rule of law and the judicial system in Pakistan and can be used to better understand the state of the country as it manifests itself in the daily lives of its citizens. “It should be noted that neither the LJCP nor the corresponding data on its website or in similar institutions have been taken into account in assessing the results achieved in the administration of justice in Pakistan.” Not only were the selected respondents regionally limited, but no information was added as to whether they had direct exposure or experience with a legal or judicial service in Pakistan. The survey, which is based on such a small sample, limited areas and an unrepresentative sample, does not accurately reflect the opinion of 230 million inhabitants. In addition, the data collected was based on a “presumption scenario” and respondent “perception,” with no actual statistics being used in the analysis. The rule of law in Pakistan the voices of more than 4,000 people in Pakistan and their experiences of the rule of law in their country. See report. In civil justice, Pakistan ranked 124th out of 139 jurisdictions in the world, while in criminal justice, it ranked 108th out of 139 countries.
Pakistan ranks among the top three in terms of order and security out of 139 countries in the world and ranks 137th out of 139 countries assessed. In the areas of civil justice, law enforcement, human rights and corruption, Pakistan ranks 124th, 123rd, 126th and 123rd respectively. To further examine justice issues, the WJP also conducted a separate justice sector survey of 2,010 households using the same methodology. This survey summarizes respondents` views and experiences on dispute resolution, legal awareness, legal identity, budget dynamics and gender issues.