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Hong Kong’s rule of law ranking has dropped out of the world’s top 20

Posted by on 2022/10/27. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The rule of law is one of the cornerstones of Hong Kong’s success in differentiating itself from China, but the latest Global rule of Law Index shows Hong Kong dropped three places to 22nd this year, out of the world’s top 20 for the first time, with a sharp 2.8% drop in its score, second only to Myanmar in the Asia-Pacific region.

Rating agencies cited the National Security Act as the reason for the decline in Hong Kong’s rating, as it empowers authorities to prosecute citizens for peaceful use of human rights, and the appointment of judges appointed by the Act weakens judicial independence. A spokesman for the Hong Kong government “strongly disagreed” with the statement, saying that Hong Kong’s score was still high and the “slight adjustment” may be due to a lack of accurate understanding of Hong Kong’s reality.

The World Justice Project released its 2022 Global Rule of Law Index on Monday. Among 140 countries or regions in the world, the top five are Nordic countries, followed by Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, according to eight indicators. China, which has implemented the “zero epidemic” policy, has recovered from last year’s decline and moved up three places to 95th in the global rankings. Its score was 0.47 out of 1, the same as last year.

In Hong Kong, the rule of law score has dropped from 0.77 in 2019 to 0.73 this year, a drop of 2.8 percent. Most of the eight indicators in the index dropped from one to nine places. The biggest drops were in “restraint of government power” (0.58 points), “fundamental rights” (0.59 points) and “open government” (0.7 points), ranking 54th, 61st and 25th respectively. The highest ranking, Order and safety (0.92), also fell one place to sixth in the global rankings.

As a result, Hong Kong’s ranking dropped three places from last year’s 19th to 22nd, the first time in the past eight years that it has dropped below 20. In the East Asia and Asia Pacific region, the ranking also dropped one place to 6th, and Singapore ranked 4th in the laggard region. South Korea moved up one spot to No. 5; The top three countries in the region are New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Theodore Piccone, senior advisor of the World Justice Project, explained to the media that the decline in Hong Kong’s rule of law ranking was due to the National Security Law imposed by Beijing, which gives the authorities enormous powers to prosecute peaceful demonstrators, opposition voices and dissidents, and restricts people’s basic human rights such as freedom of assembly and expression. He added THAT THE LAW had increased the power OF THE GOVERNMENT and that the CHIEF EXECUTIVE could appoint appointed judges to handle National Security Law cases, which had also weakened judicial independence.

The Hong Kong government responded the same night, saying it “strongly disagreed” with the agency’s “opinion” on the Hong Kong score, stressing that Hong Kong’s ranking remained high, “ahead of different Western countries that often unreasonably criticize Hong Kong’s rule of law and human rights situation.” Although the ranking of “Order and security” dropped one place from last year to sixth, and two places from 2019, a government spokesman said that this proved that the National Security Law played an important role in maintaining order and security in Hong Kong, not only “setting things right”, but also “recognized by the international community”.

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