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Democratic Legitimacy and Respect for Human Rights: The New Gold Standard

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

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Extract

Erika de Wet argues that state practice reveals that democratic legitimacy has not established itself alongside effective control for the purpose of recognition of governments in customary international law. My response is that we do not need to look to custom, difficult as it is to identify, when we have legally binding obligations such as those set forth in both the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter (IADC), not to mention the comparable European and African instruments. The new gold standard for recognition, I submit, is democratic legitimacy and respect for human rights, which has replaced “effective control.”

Type
Symposium: Recognition of Governments and Customary International Law
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2014

References

1 de Wet, Erika, From Free Town to Cairo via Kiev: The Unpredictable Road of Democratic Legitimacy in Governmental Recognition, 108 AJIL Unbound 201 (2015)Google Scholar.

2 Organization of American States [OAS], Guidelines and Objectives of the Strategic Vision of the Organization of American States, OEA/Ser.P AG/doc.5 (XLVII-E/14) (Sept. 12, 2014).

3 Charter of Paris For A New Europe, Meeting of Heads of State or Government of the participating States of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), Nov. 21, 1990, 30 I.L.M. 193 (1991).

4 OAS, Representative Democracy, AG/RES. 1080 (XXI-O/91) (June 5, 1991).

5 OAS, Protocol of Amendments to the Charter of the OAS, “Protocol of Washington”, A-56 (Dec. 14, 1992).

6 OAS, Inter-American Democratic Charter, Sept. 11, 2001.

7 Id.

8 Mooney, Lelia, Introductory Note to the Inter-American Juridical Committee: Resolution on the Essential and Fundamental Elements of Representa tive Democracy and Their Relation to Collective Action Within the Framework of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, 48 I.L.M. 1233 (2009)Google Scholar.

9 OAS, Current Situation in Honduras, OEA/Ser.G CP/RES. 953 (1700/09) (June 28, 2009).

10 Cerna, Christina M., Introductory Note to Recent OAS Documents on Cuba and Honduras: Democracy and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, 48 I.L.M. 1242 (2009)Google Scholar.

11 OAS, Suspension of the Right of Honduras to Participate in the Organization of American States, OEA/Ser.p AG/RES.2 (XXXVII-E/09) rev. 1 (July 16, 2009).

12 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, OAS, Honduras: Human Rights and the Coup d’etat, OEA/Ser.V/V/II. Doc. 55 (Dec. 30, 2009).

13 The Cartagena Accord, Honduras Culture and Politics (May 22, 2011).

14 Boghani, Priyanka, 13 Startling Facts from Amnesty’s Report on Torture Around the World, Global Post (May 14, 2014)Google Scholar.

15 Hannum, Hurst, Human Rights, in The United Nations and International Law 131 (Joyner, Christopher C. ed., 1997)Google Scholar.

16 Organization of African Unity [OAU], Constitute Act of the African Union [AU], July 11, 2000.

17 AU, African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, Jan. 30, 2007.

18 OAU, African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (June 27, 1981).

19 OAS Secretary General, Report Concerning Compliance with Operative Paragraph 3 of Resolution AG/RES. 2480 (XXXIX-O/09): “Promotion and Strengthening of Democracy: Follow-Up to the Inter-American Democracy Charter”, Doc. No. OEA/Ser.G CP/doc.4487/10 (May 4, 2010).

20 Castle, Stephen & Rudoren, Jodi, A Symbolic Vote in Britain Recognizes a Palestinian State, N.Y. Times (Oct. 13, 2014)Google Scholar.

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