Two recent surveys assessing judicial independence across the world showed that when considering South Asia only, the president’s statement is true: Sri Lanka ranks amongst the highest.
However, the story does not hold when considering Asia as a whole, where Sri Lanka ranks around the middle of each list.
The first survey was the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2017-2018. Here, Sri Lanka’s rank in South Asia was 2 out of 6, whereas its rank in Asia was 7 out of 17.
The second was the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey 2017-2018. Here, Sri Lanka’s rank in South Asia was 3 out of 5, whereas its rank in Asia was 12 out of 20.
Both surveys show that the more localised the region of Asia taken into consideration, the higher the relative rank of Sri Lanka becomes. If the President had specified “South” Asia in his statement, we would have rated it as “True”.
- World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2017-2018: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP-ROLI-2018-June-Online-Edition_0.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2dsCPxbTb6-_RTwJXS-Dt_QO68rxFVqnaojVbw6QtxWgnfcwid5FBMCdg
- World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey 2017-2018: http://reports.weforum.org/pdf/gci-2017-2018-scorecard/WEF_GCI_2017_2018_Scorecard_EOSQ144.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3MuBcsE7xdsGAM7HUITtjFkmhJrqNt2C6cq6S7qSLIKm9QsP3m7NKbg8E