Following 12 years of arduous work and continuous efforts by numerous researchers who have formed part of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA), we now proudly present the fruits of the tenth assessment.

The road has been long and difficult, but the conviction regarding the foundations and need for it have kept this indicator current. When the idea of this type of index was proposed in 2004, we had little to guide us. The amount of published data was minimal, and the idea of a need for and right to these contents by the public was practically null.

Today, the context in the Americas and around the world reassures us that we chose the correct path. The importance of transparency as an active exercise on the part of the public institutional structure has become an undeniable need and is something that people demand.

The crisis of legitimacy, lack of governance and questioned political class are causes and symptoms of a model that, today more than ever, needs to be updated and draw on all means available to provide for an empowered and demanding public.

Justice cannot be the exception, and this is one of the major challenges that we must face. As an institution that promotes justice system modernization processes in the Americas, JSCA has decided to take the lead.

Click here to view the 10th version of the Iacc.


Global Iacc Results

The first observation that can be made is that Chile has placed first, as it did in the previous version. However, as we will see, its score is quite a bit lower than it was last time.

It is followed by Guatemala, Paraguay, Costa Rica and Colombia, all of which were assigned scores over 60%.

The average of the 34 countries measured is 37.97%, which is lower than the result of 42.95% for the ninth version. One interesting result is that only 15 countries fall above the average, that is, fewer than half.

Given that this average is very sensitive to extremes, the median can also be taken as a point of reference. It falls between Canada and Mexico (36.33%), suggesting that half of the countries come in above 37.36% while the other half is lower than 35.3%. This result is also lower than the median of 42.95% reported in the previous version.




Global Results by Groups of Countries

The countries in the “Very High” group remained unchanged, but did change position within the group. The average score was over 10% lower than the results in the previous edition.

The countries grouped as “High” saw their average drop from 63.86% to 55.59%. Only the Dominican Republic, Panama and Colombia remained in this group. The composition of the “Medium” group and its average both changed. Only Canada, Uruguay and Argentina remained, and the average dropped twelve points compared to the ninth version.

Only Nicaragua and Jamaica remained among the countries from the “Low” group. Bolivia, Dominica, Guyana and Belize rose from “Very Low” and only Mexico dropped from the “Low” category. The average dropped from 30.66% to 28.99%.




Judicial Branch Ranking

Among the judicial branches evaluated, the country with the highest score was Chile, as was the case in the previous version. However, its score was 20% lower than in the last report.

It was followed by Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, all of which had scores over 60%.

Note that there has been limited mobility among these countries with the exceptions of Peru and Honduras, which increased their ranks by ten and five positions, respectively. The average obtained for the Judicial Branches of all countries is 45.98%, which is slightly lower than the 46.35% reported in the previous version. Seventeen countries fell above this number (precisely half of them).

The median is located between Ecuador and Panama (45.71%), which is down from the 49.21% reported in 2014.



Public Prosecutor’s Office Ranking

In contrast to the previous version in which Costa Rica ranked first in this category, this year Colombia led the ranking with a score of 70.26%.

It is followed by Guatemala, which rose from seventh place, Chile and Paraguay, which dropped on spot each, and Honduras, which jumped five places.

Only three countries obtained scores higher than 60%, and nine met over 50% of the guidelines.

The average was 29.95%, which is a little over 6% lower than the ninth version, when it was 36.01%. Half of the countries fall above the average, which shows that the high scores that were pushing the average up in the last version were not reported this year. Only one country obtained a score over 70%. 

The median is 28.81%, notably lower than the ninth version, which was 41.07%.

If we compare the current mean and median, we can see little difference, but there is still a greater concentration of lower scores, while the median continues to be slightly lower than the average.









Previous IAcc

All reports are in Spanish unless otherwise noted.