The Imperative of Maintaining the Rule of Law and Its Assessment
One of the most important basis for a democratic state is the principle of the Rule of law, which protects the rights of citizens, limits the power of government and maintains order. In a democracy, everyone is equal under the law. In an ideal situation, the rule of law is necessary to maintain economic, political and social sustainability, to ensure the protection of human rights and freedoms, implement democratic governance, etc. Taking into account the importance of maintaining a certain level of the rule of law in a country, this principle has become a final goal, the aim that all governments strive to achieve. Since the moment when the Rule of Law became the foundation of a new order, many countries have tried to test it in practice and bring it into reality.. Due to this imperative importance, many national, international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, individual researchers and research groups are conducting analysis on the basis and components of the Rule of law aiming to reveal factors that either positively or negatively influence on the level of the Rule of Law in a particular country.
The idea of our research is to define basic components of the Rule of law, to consider main obstacles and challenges that the world is still facing in the area of practical application of the Rule of Law as well as to define the steps to be taken to shift and improve the situation so that the respect to the rule of law becomes an accomplished goal. The key character of this research is to develop new methodology and assess the level of the Rule of law through integral index of the Rule of Law. We have created a new index that is not limited in the number of included indicators and can be supplemented by additional indicators describing as many areas and indicators of the rule of law in a particular country as possible.
For the construction of the index of the Rule of Law, we have used the method of Factor analysis. Our new integral index represents the levels of the rule of law in observed countries, as well as its change over time.
Several steps have developed our research. Firstly, we have constructed the integral index of the Rule of law for 141 countries for 2011-2016. Secondly, we have extended the scope of our research by comparing the Index’s results for South Caucasus- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Thirdly, we have applied the results achieved in the second step to conclude in which directions these countries have policies, that are more effective compared to others and in which directions they have failed.
The most outstanding advantage of our research methodology is that it is useful for evaluating social, political or economic policies in a given country and its results can be applied in the process of policymaking. One of the most distinguishing features of this new methodology is that it allows us to add more indicators to existing ones and make the research broader - depending on the purposes and given circumstances. The integral index of The Rule of Law is designed to become a useful device for achieving high levels of democracy and constitutionality in the world.
Keywords - Rule of law, constitutionality, method, factor analysis, pillar, rank, comparative, index, weighted average, governance, policy, research.