Fundamental Rights (Factor 4 of the WJP Rule of Law Index) measures the protection of fundamental human rights. It recognizes that a system of positive law that fails to respect core human rights established under international law is at best “rule by law”, and does not deserve to be called a rule of law system.
Since there are many other indices that address human rights, and as it would be impossible for the Index to assess adherence to the full range of rights, this factor focuses on a relatively modest menu of rights that are firmly established under the Universal Declaration and are most closely related to rule of law concerns. Accordingly, Factor 4 encompasses adherence to the following fundamental rights: effective enforcement of laws that ensure equal protection, the right to life and security of the person, due process of law and the rights of the accused, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of belief and religion, the right to privacy (4.6), freedom of assembly and association, and fundamental labor rights, including the right to collective bargaining, the prohibition of forced and child labor, and the elimination of discrimination.
1 Equal treatment and absence of discrimination
2 The right to life and security of the person is effectively guaranteed
3 Due process of law and rights of the accused
4 Freedom of opinion and expression is effectively guaranteed
5 Freedom of belief and religion is effectively guaranteed
6 Freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy is effectively guaranteed
7 Freedom of assembly and association is effectively guaranteed
8 Fundamental labor rights are effectively guaranteed.