Thailand sits near the bottom in some categories of a ranking of countries by rule of law compiled by a Washington-based think-tank, particularly in civil justice, in which it holds the 80th position out of 97.
Evaluated according to eight criteria by 97,000 members and 2,500 experts in all 97 countries, the World Justice Project (WJP) found Thailand still rated poorly in terms of civil conflict and political violence, and lowest of all in civil justice, partly because of delays in processing cases and difficulties enforcing court decisions.
Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore lead the East Asia and Pacific region in most dimensions of the rule of law, the WJP said of its index this year, which was released on Wednesday.
Details of Thailand’s WJP ranking in previous years were not immediately available.
Thailand’s scores in the eight criteria – higher numbers indicate poorer performance – were: limited government powers, 55/97; absence of corruption, 65/97; order and security, 71/97; fundamental rights, 38/97; open government, 42/97; regulatory enforcement, 53/97; civil justice, 80/97 (the country’s lowest score); and criminal justice, 35/97.
“Achieving the rule of law is a constant challenge and a work in progress in all countries,” said WJP founder William Neukom. “The WJP’s Rule of Law Index is not designed to shame or blame, but to provide useful reference points for countries in the same regions, with comparable legal cultures and similar income levels.”
According to the report, “Thailand earns high marks on absence of crime and effectiveness of the criminal justice system (ranking fifth globally and seventh among its income peers). However, civil conflict and political violence are significant problems.
“Corruption is common, particularly within the legislature and the police.
“The country’s lowest scores are in the dimension of civil justice (ranking 80th), partly because of delays in processing cases and difficulties in enforcing court decisions.”