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Democracy in international law: A european perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Issue number2
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)225-248
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


For lawyers in general, and international lawyers in particular, democracy is a neglected concept. Discourse is dominated by the ideas of human rights for individuals and minority or self-determination rights for groups. Those who seek greater protection for vulnerable members of a community argue for the recognition of new rights, or the more effective implementation of existing rights. They do not argue for more democracy. Indeed, given that claims for human and minority rights are not made only against authoritarian governments, but also democratic ones, there must exist an implied assumption that democracy is, by itself, not capable of protecting the interests of vulnerable minorities. Moreover, as the form of government which apparently venerates the will of the majority, democracy might be considered by some as being downright hostile to the interests of individuals and minorities.