Fairness to Persons: The Democratic Entitlement
This chapter examines democracy as a right protected by international law and institutions. Democracy concerns the role of people in governance. The right to democracy is the right of people to be consulted and to participate in the process by which political values are reconciled and choices made. Some aspects of this right are encompassed in existing human rights instruments. Rights to free speech, press, religion, and assembly are examples of associational and discursive entitlements which are already formulated in conventions. The right to electoral democracy builds on these, but seeks to extend the ambit of protected rights to ensure meaningful participation by the governed in the formal political decisions by which the quality of their lives and societies are shaped. As with other rights, it is necessary to define the entitlement, to establish instruments of compliance verification, and to enforce the right against violations. This chapter also discusses the validation of governance, the legitimacy of international validation, associational freedom and self-determination, discursive rights, electoral rights, and the link between peace and the democratic entitlement.
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