9. RULE OF LAW AND SECURE PROPERTY RIGHTS

LEGISLATION & INSTITUTIONS

1. Are the institutions which define property rights and ensure their fulfilment (i.e. the judicial system, property registers) efficient, impartial, and accountable to society?

2. Is selling a property an understandable process and not overly time-consuming or with prohibitive costs?

3. Does legislation "facilitate" an environment that enables corrupt firms to thrive at the expense of competitive forces?

4. Do formal and informal systems exist side by side? How does this work in practice?

5. Are there alternative dispute resolution systems that provide a substitute for slow and expensive formal courts?

6. Are there specialized debt collection courts?

7. Do courts provide reasons for their decisions based on the law, through some form of due process?

8. Are there any examples that poor governance structures have undermined the rule of law and provided fertile ground for organized crime?

COMMERCIAL PROTECTION

9. Is contract enforcement reasonably straightforward?

10. Are there laws for key types of disclosure to protect equity investors?

11. Is the debt value to enforce a contract prohibitive in terms of cost?

12. Is it straightforward to register commercial property (in a few procedures)?

13. If debtors become insolvent and enter bankruptcy, do creditors have adequate protection?

JUDICIAL FRAMEWORK

14. Are there effective contract enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms in place, in terms of length of court days, etc.?

15. Is the judiciary independently appointed?

16. Is the law applied impartially or open to political interference?

17. Is there extensive use of extra-legal contract enforcement mechanisms?

PROPERTY RIGHTS

18. Are the institutions that define and enforce property rights – the court system, property registries and law enforcement agencies – effective and well-funded public institutions?

19. Systems that provide little or no confidence that property rights are secure lead to few incentives for individuals to expand operations or develop their businesses and reinvest their profits. Are property rights respected and secure?

20. What are the specific mechanisms through which property rights affect the economy?

21. Are all components of property rights created equally?

22. Do the effects of various components of property rights differ by the country's context?

23. Are there variations in the rights allowing women and men to own property, including holding bank accounts and other transferable forms of property?

24. Are there variations in the procedural requirements for women to own property (e.g., permission from a father or husband)?

RULE OF LAW

25. The rule of law means that governmental decisions are made according to a set of written laws and rules, which are to be followed by every citizen. Are such rules applied consistently, administered by a professional bureaucracy, and adjudicated by a fair and transparent judiciary that is adequately compensated?

26. Have there been improvements in economic security?

  • How have these contributed to the rise of private investment?

27. Is there trust in the legal system?

28. Are the forces of law and order seen as effective in deterring crime?

29. Is lawlessness and crime a major disincentive to investment?


(1) These can resolve claims faster because those who preside over them have more command over the law and have responsibility for the entire debt collection system - from seizure, to the auctioning of property.