Top 5 African countries with the best legal system

Top 5 African countries with the best legal system

N Melo
by N Melo
December 15, 2020 0

Top 5 African countries with the best legal system

Countries with fairer and faster legal systems are believed to perform very well and attract the necessary investments both at home and abroad. Yet in many African countries the judiciary is slow and most often inequitable, as well-functioning courts are hard to find, while some judges take time to resolve disputes or lack independence.

The good news is that some African countries have, over the years, produced some of the best courts and an independent judiciary that the continent is proud of. This is indicated, among other things, by the 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which conducted a study in 137 countries around the world, taking into account factors such as independence of the judiciary versus government, individuals or corporate influence.


Here are the five African countries which have made progress in terms of judicial independence:

5. South Africa

The country prides itself on having irreproachable judges who were able to stand up to the governments of the time, to the point of canceling certain appointments made by governments, including that of former president, Jacob Zuma. Access to courts has also improved with the availability of legal aid and pro bono services for the poor. With unity in diversity in terms of appointments (increase in the number of blacks compared to whites in the Office of the President of the Supreme Court), South Africa has one of the independent judicial systems in Africa, with a score of 4.9 out of 7, which places it 36th in the world and 5th in Africa.

4. Mauritius

The courts in this country have recently been described as “well-reasoned and fair” institutions that make judgments clear and understandable. The most democratic African country has a constitution which provides for the institution of an independent judiciary, based on the concept of the separation of powers. A score of 5.0 out of 7 on the ranking scale is therefore not surprising.

3. Egypt

In all countries, ensuring the right to full legal representation in court is essential for the justice system and for public confidence, and Egypt is no exception. The country prides itself on having free access to the justice system and legal aid, both of which are constitutional rights. These rights are set out in various legislative instruments, including the Code of Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Law on Defense of Rights, Law on Children (Minors) and Law on Trafficking in Human Beings. With a score of 5.1 out of 7 on the ranking scale, Egypt is the third African country with the best judicial system.

2. Namibia

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Ranked 29th in the world, it is the second African country to improve its judicial independence, scoring 5.3 out of 7 on the ranking scale. In 2016, the country took a historic step in its legal history by establishing an independent body of the judiciary that separates it from the Ministry of Justice. This measure made it possible to guarantee administrative and financial independence, as it improved the country’s legal environment and increased public confidence in the judiciary.

1. Rwanda

Rwanda currently has the best judicial system in Africa. With a score of 5.6 out of 7 on the ranking scale, the Rwandan authorities have often attributed this feat to the judicial reforms adopted in the country, which were accompanied by a series of new laws, new judicial structures to judge among others cases of genocide against Tutsis and a “modern” professional justice system.

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