Top 10 Countries With The Best Judicial System In The World: The judicial arm of a government is the arm concerned with the interpretation of laws, agreements, treaties, policies and legal frameworks. This arm of government also exercises checks on the other arms- legislative and executive. There are different factors usually responsible for the effectiveness of a judicial system. Some of these factors include respect for the rule of law, timeframe for the resolution of disputes, the manner of judicial interpretations, the availability of judicial officers, among others.
There have been debates from time to time on which countries have the best judicial system in the world. This article gives an answer to this question. The top areas of strengths for all of the countries on this list will be briefly highlighted in the article.
Table of Content
Criteria for Effectiveness of Judicial Systems
In reaching a conclusion on the top 10 countries with the best judicial systems in the world, the following factors were considered:
a. Accountability: This article considers how the government as well as principal state actors are made to be accountable under the laws in place.
b. Just Laws: For a country to be said to have an effective judicial system, the laws which the judges are called upon to breathe life into must be just and fair in all respect. These laws must be clear and publicized within the state. Such laws must also be of such nature as to protect the core rights of citizens.
c. Open Government: The government of these countries must be one put in power by the majority of the people. The people making up the government and the judiciary must be people of good standing in the society and who have the skill-set and will power to do the job. The government must be fair, accessible and largely efficient.
d. Accessible Impartial Dispute Resolution Mechanisms: These countries must have in place the right tools to ensure that justice is accessible to every citizen and justice is not just done, but is manifestly seen to have been done even by the common man.
e. Timeframe for Dispute Resolution: There is a widely believed saying that justice delayed is justice denied. It is not sufficient that justice will be served at the end of the judicial process, but there must be steps put in place to ensure that justice is attained within the shortest possible time.
Recommended: Doctrine of covering the field explained
Top 10 Judicial System in the World
The following judicial systems can be regarded as the best in the world. The countries below are taken upon a due consideration of different continents and the judicial systems available in each of these.
1. Denmark: This is a country in the Scandinavian region in Europe. It has its capital at Copenhagen and Danish is the official language. It is scarcely populated country with a population of about 6 million people. The country is placed at the first position in the world considering its very effective judicial system . The country is considered to have a very open government, with respect for the rule of law, and strict regulatory enforcements in place. This country is considered one of the safest places to live on earth and their effective judicial system which has resulted in a great reduction in crimes and conflicts is also a reason for this.
The country has in place over 2 dozens county general courts, and specialized courts for areas such as maritime disputes and commercial disputes. The judges in these courts are specially trained and qualified in these areas. The country has a special court of indictment and revision, which hears cases of disciplinary sanctions against erring judges and judicial officers. There are elaborate rules on re-opening criminal cases in instances where foul play is suspected.
2. Norway: Norway is country in Europe with Oslo as its capital city. The country has one of the best judicial rating in the world presently. It has a very open judicial system and the government’s powers are under constant checks. The country has one of the most effective regulatory enforcements.
There are no civil unrests, almost no crimes and complete absence in violence in the resolution of disputes. Judicial powers are constantly under strong scrutiny to avoid abuse and undue use.
3. Finland: This is a Northern European country which shares borders with Sweeden, Norway and Russia. Helsinki is the capital city of Finland. The country has a population of about 6 million inhabitants.
The country judicial system is made up of a Supreme Court, Six Courts of Appeal and about 27 District Courts. The country is considered to be one of the most secured places in the world to live with almost zero abuse of government powers. The country has strong implementation policies for laws and policies in place.
4. Sweden: This is a Scandinavian country in Europe. Its capital city is Stockholm and the country has a population of about 11 million people. The judicial system of Sweden is made up of two types of courts, the administrative courts and special courts.
This country is one of the safest places to live in the world with almost a total eclipse of corruption. It was rated by the World Justice Project as a country with one of the most advanced and effective judicial systems in the world as at 2020.
5. Netherlands: This is a country which is situated in the Northwestern part of Europe, with Amsterdam as its capital. It has a population of about 18 million people.
This country has been ranked to be have one of the most developed legal framework in the world. There is easy access to the courts with less cost and a relatively short period of time is used for the judicial determination of disputes in courts.
6. Germany: This is another country in Europe with its capital at Berlin. It is one of the countries with an effective judicial system in place and a booming population. It has a population of about 84million people.
The German legal system is a civil law system most based on very comprehensive statutes. In recent ratings done in recent years, Germany has constantly dominated in the area of regulatory enforcement and a strong criminal justice system.
7. New Zealand: This country is located in Australia, with Wellington as its capital. This is one country outside Europe that is highly regarded as a country with an advanced judicial system.
There are four levels of courts in this country, at the lowest level we have the District Court and High Courts. Appeals move from these courts to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. This country has one of the most sophisticated policy implementation mechanism in the world, with a high regard for the rule of law.
8. Austria: The Republic of Austria is a central European country with its capital at Vienna. The country has a population of about 9 million people.
The country is highly reputed for having advanced and up-to-date set of laws, and a hitch-free judicial process. Matters are usually fast-tracked to ensure that a fair decision is reached within the shortest possible time, while at the same time, ensuring that justice is not compromised.
Also see: Most corrupt countries in Africa 2021
9. Canada: This is another country outside Europe in this list. It is a North America country with its capital at Ottawa. The country has a population of about 39 million people. This country has a strong reputation of quick and easy implementation policies in place.
It embraces the use of technology in dispute resolution and adopts mechanisms that ensure that disputes are amicably settled within the shortest possible time. The World Justice Project rates Canada to be the most advanced country with respect to Rule of Law consideration in North America.
10. Estonia: This is a North European country which has its capital at Tallinn. The country has a population of under a million. This country is highly rated for its adoption of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as negotiation, arbitration and mediation in the settlement of disputes. The government is under strict check to avoid abuse of its powers.
Recommended: Donoghue v Stevenson – Facts, issues and decision
A quick look at the countries above show that they are mostly European countries. This is not surprising considering the level of efficiency that the judicial system in that region brings.
Respect for rule of law, checks of governmental powers, quick resolution of disputes, and implementation of decisions reached by the court are mostly present in these European countries. Conscious efforts must be taken to improve these indices by countries that do not come in this list.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.