The Rule of Law Quality Index has fallen globally for the fifth year in a row, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law 2022 Index.

Portugal's score in terms of the quality of our rule of law is down 1.5% in this year's Index. It is ranked 27th out of 140 countries worldwide, having dropped one position since last year.

Portugal ranks 20th among 31 countries in the European Union, European Free Trade Association and North America.

The best performing country in the region is Denmark (ranked 1 out of 140 countries worldwide), followed by Norway and Finland. The three lowest scoring countries in the region were Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary (73rd globally). Of the total of 140 countries, the country with the lowest score is Venezuela, followed by Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.

Globally, 4.4 billion people live in countries where the rule of law has fallen during the last year. “We are emerging from the pandemic, but the global rule of law recession continues,” said Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project (WJP). “Fundamentally, the rule of law is about justice — namely accountability, the right to equality and justice for all. A less just world will certainly be a more volatile world.”

Data from the Index shows that authoritarian trends leading up to the pandemic — such as a weakening of checks on executive power and a greater number of attacks on the media — continue to contribute to the downfall of the rule of law around the world.