The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index 2017–2018 has released its list of nations with the best legal systems in the world.

It measures the rule of law adherence as well as how independent the judicial system is from the influences of the government, individuals, or companies across  137 countries.

The report ranks Rwanda as the first in Africa, followed by Namibia, Egypt, then Mauritius and finally, South Africa.

With 1 being the least independent and 7 being totally independent, here are the five countries with the best legal systems across the continent:

Rwanda

This East African nation has been ranked as having the best judicial system in the continent and 23rd globally. It scored 5.6 out of 7 surpassing USA, France and Germany.

This high score has been attributed to new judicial reforms as well as a new constitution adopted in 2004. Prior to the reform, cases would reportedly take up to 20 years to be concluded.

Reacting to his country's place on the list, Johnston Busingye, the Rwandan Minister of Justice and Attorney General told The New Times: "This ranking speaks to the judiciary's guiding principle to be and to be seen to be independent and impartial, as well as the effort put into it by multiple stakeholders and sustained human and material capacity building over the years."

He added: "The ranking doesn't mean that all is perfect, but as you can see even the first country globally doesn't have 100 per cent. For us it means our judiciary has come of age; it's the reason for sustained confidence and trust." For the sector, the Attorney General said that the WEF rating means that Rwanda's judiciary's "wide approach" is paying off. "It is a result of multiple sector stakeholder efforts; recognition of judicial independence is the key badge every justice sector wants to wear."

Namibia

The second African country with the best legal system is Namibia. Ranking 29 globally, it scores 5.3 on the scale.

The country's decision to establish an independent body of the Judiciary separate from the Ministry of Justice has really improved its judicial independence.

Egypt

Scoring 5.1, Egypt is the third African country with the best judiciary and 31 across the world.

This is due to the country's free access to the justice system, legal aid and various legislative instruments like the Trafficking Law.

Mauritius

A score of 5.0 out of 7 makes this country the fourth best with regards to judicial independence in Africa and 34 globally.

Apart from having a really good judiciary, it is also the most democratic African country in 2018 with an overall score of 8.22, according to the recent Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index.

South Africa

It scores 4.9 out of 7 on the ranking scale to make it 36th on the global stage and fifth best independent judicial systems in the continent.

Countries with the worst legal systems in Africa
Countries with the worst legal systems in Africa

Meanwhile, the African countries with the least independent judiciary are the Democratic Republic of the Congo also known as the DRC (127 globally with a ranking of 2.4), Burundi (131 globally with a score of 2.3) and least of all Chad with a globally ranking of 134 and a low score of 2.1.