Hong Kong managed to hold on to its ranking as the most economically free market in the world, according to the Fraser Institute, but saw its score for maintaining a fair and impartial judiciary drop. The Canadian think tank's latest report, which is based on 2007 data, ranked Hong Kong at No 1 out of 141 economies, with a score of 8.96 out of 10. But in evaluating the impartiality of the city's courts, the Vancouver-based institute gave the city a score of 7.86, its lowest yet. That was down from 8.32 a year earlier. In 1995, the score was 7.93. There is a two-year delay in releasing the institute's report, which relies on third-party economic data. The institute was founded in 1974 and its report is recognised as a leading measure of economic freedom. The courts handled a number of landmark cases in 2007, including ruling that prosecutors would have to prove that suspects found in possession of dangerous drugs knew of the drugs, and convicting the first person in the world for using BitTorrent technology to put pirated movies on the internet. A government spokesman said: 'There appears no obvious reason why the rating on this measure has dipped this year, although it is noted that the rating this year is now much the same as in 1995.' Singapore was listed second for economic freedom with a score of 8.66. New Zealand, Switzerland, Chile, the United States, Ireland, Australia, Britain and Estonia rounded out the top 10. The overall rankings are based on scores for size of government, legal structure and the security of property rights, access to sound money, which includes the impact of inflation, freedom to trade internationally, and the regulation of credit, labour and business. Hong Kong ranked third for size of government, down one place from a year earlier, although its score of 9.29 was far below the 9.75 it achieved in 1980. The city continued to be first in terms of freedom to trade internationally and improved its rankings to 18th for access to sound money, ninth for the regulation of credit, labour and business, and 15th for its legal structure.