Colombia’s criminal justice system is ranked 31 out of 35 countries examined in The World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index.
The study found that Colombia’s judicial system is particularly deficient in terms of criminal investigation, with only 4% of robbery cases resulting in punishment of the perpetrators. Internationally, the report found that 12% of cases resulted in punishment.
“This index is like a thermometer. It doesn’t tell the patient if he has a virus or bacteria, it doesn’t diagnose or give specific remedies, but it says he has a fever,” said Juan Carlos Botero, the index’s director and an author of the report.
The study is the first annual report released by WJP, and examines 10 factors to gauge the strength of rule of law in different countries across the world. Each country was ranked according to each factor examined. Colombia’s best ranking was at 10 for “Open Government,” and it’s worst was 31 for “Effective Criminal Justice.” Overall, justice systems in Latin America were found to be the worst.
Colombia came 11th out of the 12 lower-middle income countries in terms of the effectiveness of its criminal justice system, beaten by countries such as Thailand, Peru, and El Salvador.
Colombia scored significantly above the average for its income group and region in the measure of how far its government’s power is limited by the judiciary, and for its processes of independent auditing and review. The country lagged below the average scores in terms of government officials sanctioned for misconduct.
WJP, which seeks to strengthen the rule of law across the world, will expand the study in coming years, analyzing 70 countries next year and 100 in 2012.
Some 35,000 people and 900 experts were interviewed for the project.