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ISLAMABAD: The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) said that the World Justice Project (WJP), “Rule of Law Index, 2021” is based on perception rather than real data.

Raja Muhammad Faisal Iftikhar, deputy secretary (Admn) LJCP, on Saturday, issued a statement, where he described that the WJP’s theoretical framework of evaluation (the four principles, nine factors, and 44 sub-factors) appears robust.

The WJP Rule of Law Index 2021 report published in October 2021, has placed Pakistan among the lowest-ranked countries in its adherence to the rule of law (ranking 130th out of 139 nations).

The statement said that the LJCP’s own assessment of their application in general and on Pakistan, in particular, finds certain avoidable gaps in the WJP’s Ireport.

It noted that only two factors out of nine, deployed for determination of rule of law index across countries, relate to judicial system, ie, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice, while the remaining seven relate to the governance system, executive efficiency and behaviour of the society.

In Civil Justice, Pakistan was globally ranked at 124 out of 139 jurisdictions, while in Criminal Justice it was placed at 108 among the 139 countries.

The sorry state of rule of law

The LJCP further noted that besides the judiciary, these two factors involve other state departments such as the police, prosecution, prisons and the lawyers’ community including the general public. It added that in a traditional and heterogeneous society, the casual behaviour of the general public towards litigation hampers its expeditious disposal. However, these underlying factors are not in the control of the judiciary anywhere in the country and have been overlooked in the report.

The judiciary in Pakistan has always upheld the rule of law and ensured the expeditious disposal of the cases. The NJPMC resolved that the judicial system of Pakistan would not disappoint the people and the Courts have been working dedicatedly and steadfastly during the Covid pandemic.

During the years 2021-2022, the courts decided 5.62 million cases against institution of 5.47 million, thereby, reducing the backlog.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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