Obligation

State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights

International and regional treaties are clear that states must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights.[1] This obligation includes ensuring that the national legal framework incorporates the international obligations in treaties agreed to by states. Interpretive sources add that states should: Regulate violations of human rights not only by states themselves but also by nonstate actors and private individuals;[2] Educate the population and public officials on human rights;[3] Remove barriers to the electoral process for those with specific difficulties (e.g., illiteracy, language barriers, disability, etc.); [4] Prevent, punish, investigate, and/or redress violations of human rights by nonstate actors;[5] Interpretive sources add that this obligation to take necessary steps is unqualified and should have immediate effect, and it includes a need to take various positive measures.[6] All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting this obligation.[7] Political commitments suggest that everyone should have the right to submit criticisms and proposals for improving their functioning to government bodies, agencies, and organizations.[8] With regard to derogations from international obligations, interpretive sources indicate that derogation measures cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, or social origin,[9] and any limitations must respect the nonderogable nature of certain rights.[10] Political commitments add that the state must publicly announce a state of emergency before any derogation measures are put into place.[11] In applying a limitation to rights, a state must use the least restrictive means required.[12] Derogation measures cannot undermine the exercise of rights protected by other international obligations of the state and must be justified by law and subject to review.[13]

Issues


The Legal Framework for Electoral Systems and Boundary Delimitation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

There were clear legal provisions regarding the electoral system and boundary delimitation

  • The fundamental aspects of the electoral law should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level higher than ordinary law. [?]
  • The delimitation of boundaries should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level above ordinary law. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The vote-counting process was transparent and observable

  • Vote counting should be a transparent and observable process. [?]

Voter Access to Registration Information

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The voter list was publicly displayed, and there was adequate time for public inspection of the list, including time for objections and the adjudication of disputes

  • Both claims and objections must be allowed. [?]
  • The voter list should be publicly displayed. [?]
  • There should be sufficient time for public inspection of the voter list, for objections to be raised, and for the adjudication of appeals. [?]

Derogation of Obligations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

Any restrictions on rights were justified by law and subject to review

  • Derogation measures must be justified by law and subject to review. [?]

Prior to the derogation of human rights and electoral obligations, a state of emergency was publicly announced

  • Measures derogating from provisions of the covenant must be of a temporary and exceptional nature and strictly required by the exigencies of the situation. [?]
  • The state must publicly announce a state of emergency before any derogation measures are put into place. [?]

When derogating obligations and/or restricting human rights, the least restrictive measures were taken and no limitations were placed on nonderogable rights

  • In applying a limitation, a state should use the least restrictive means required. [?]
  • Derogation measures cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or social origin. [?]
  • Limitations must respect the non-derogable nature of certain rights and may not undermine the exercise of rights protected by other international obligations of the state. [?]

The Right to an Effective Remedy, Including Challenging Election Results

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral Dispute Resolution

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during the electoral process, including through the dispute resolution process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • The requirement to take steps to give effect to human rights is unqualified and of immediate effect. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include a requirement to prevent, punish, investigate, or redress violations of human rights by non-state actors. [?]
  • States are required to give effect to internationally recognized human rights in domestic law. [?]

The state acted to investigate and address violations of rights. It provided appropriate judicial and administrative means for addressing claims of rights violations, including allegations of electoral fraud

  • States have a duty to investigate alleged rights violations. [?]
  • The duty to investigate includes the investigation of acts by private persons and entities. [?]
  • States have a duty to provide appropriate judicial and administrative means for addressing claims of rights violations. [?]

Electoral Management Body Responsibility for Protection of Rights

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

Steps were taken to institutionalize efficient and effective public administration

  • States should take steps to institutionalize good governance through accountable, efficient, and effective public administration. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to submit to governmental bodies, agencies, and organizations criticisms and proposals for improving their function. [?]
  • States should ensure transparency in the management of public affairs. [?]

The electoral management body took steps to implement an electoral process that fulfilled and protected human rights

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

Independent Body to Monitor Campaign Finances

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

The state took steps to provide for independent monitoring of campaign and political financing

  • An independent monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance should have security of funding and be free from political pressure. [?]
  • An independent monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance should provide accessible and timely information. [?]
  • Commissioners of independent monitoring bodies created to review political and campaign finance should not be eligible for re-appointment. [?]
  • An independent monitoring body should be created to review political and campaign finance. [?]
  • An independent monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance must have autonomous capacity to seek out violations. [?]
  • Legislation should define a monitoring body's specific powers and activities. [?]
  • States should provide for the independent monitoring of campaign and political funding. [?]
  • An independent monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance should be multiparty. [?]
  • Legislation should define the procedure for appointing members to a monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance. [?]
  • Legislation should define procedures for appeal against decisions of the independent monitoring body. [?]
  • An independent monitoring body created to review political and campaign finance should respect human rights. [?]
  • Legislation should define the types of breaches of the law to be sanctioned. [?]

The Election Calendar and Enjoyment of Rights

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework
  • Electoral Dispute Resolution
  • Voter Education
  • Election Management
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

An electoral management body implemented elections with adequate time to implement all parts of the electoral process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

The scheduling of elections granted sufficient time for a complete and comprehensive voter education program

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]
  • Voter education materials should distributed in a timely manner. [?]

The electoral calendar included adequate time to implement all parts of the electoral process, including the electoral dispute resolution processes

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]

The electoral calendar allowed sufficient time for all aspects of the electoral process to take place, including vote counting

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]

The legislative calendar related to the development of electoral laws was published well in advance of deadlines

  • States are required to give effect to internationally recognized human rights in domestic law. [?]

Independence and Impartiality of the Electoral Management Body

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

There was an independent and impartial electoral management body

  • The central election commission should be permanent in nature. [?]
  • The state should establish an independent and impartial election body. [?]
  • The impartiality of election management bodies should be ensured at all levels, from the national commission to the polling station. [?]
  • The composition of the election commission can vary, but the principles of independence and impartiality should be upheld. [?]

The electoral management body had sufficient resources to implement all phases of the election process

  • Sufficient funding and resources should be provided for the conduct of the electoral process, free from interference from any other electoral stakeholders. [?]

International Human Rights Obligations and the Legal Framework

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

Participatory rights were protected at the highest level of the law (the constitution)

  • The fundamental aspects of the electoral law should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level higher than ordinary law. [?]

Key aspects of the election process were enshrined in law at the highest level (e.g., the electoral system was enshrined in the constitution)

  • The fundamental aspects of the electoral law should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level higher than ordinary law. [?]

The legal framework for elections included the protection of fundamental rights and made international obligations domestically binding

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • The requirement to take steps to give effect to human rights is unqualified and of immediate effect. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include an obligation to regulate violations of human rights by non-state actors. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States are required to give effect to internationally recognized human rights in domestic law. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

Choice of the Electoral System

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation

The electoral system allowed multiparty participation and actual and equal representation

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • While no electoral system is prescribed by international law, the system chosen must be consistent with international obligations and should be clearly stated in law. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]

The electoral system was enshrined in law at the highest level (e.g., the constitution)

  • The fundamental aspects of the electoral law should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level higher than ordinary law. [?]
  • The delimitation of boundaries should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level above ordinary law. [?]

The legal framework defined the formulas to be used to convert votes into mandates

  • The rules should clearly state the electoral formula to be used to convert votes into mandates and the electoral timeline for the announcement and certification of results. [?]

Voter Registration and the Fulfillment of Human Rights

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during the voter registration process, including the creation of an effective procedure for voter registration

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States should ensure the voter registration process is conducted in a manner that respects a variety of rights. [?]
  • Voter registration forms and guidelines should be available in minority languages of the country. [?]
  • States must take steps to establish an effective procedure for voter registration. [?]

Provision of Voter Education by the Electoral Management Body

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during voter education

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]

Voter education was provided by the EMB and was impartial and responsive to the needs of the electorate

  • Election management bodies generally bear responsibility for voter education. [?]
  • Voter education materials should distributed in a timely manner. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns should be responsive to the needs to the electorate. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns of the state should be conducted in a manner that is impartial and consistent. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]

The Content of Voter Education Campaigns

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

Voter education efforts included information about all electoral rights, including equal suffrage, the right to vote and be elected, the right to an effective remedy, and the secret ballot

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns of the state should be conducted in a manner that is impartial and consistent. [?]

Independent Body to Regulate Broadcasting During Elections

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • The Media

The appointment and functioning of regulatory authorities of the media were transparent, and they were independent and protected from political interference. The media regulatory body acted in a transparent and impartial manner

  • The appointment and functioning of regulatory authorities should be transparent. [?]
  • The state should ensure that all public regulatory agencies are independent and protected from interference. [?]
  • The media regulatory body should act in an impartial and transparent manner. [?]

The state took the steps necessary to guarantee rights with regard to the media; for example, through the establishment of an independent body to regulate election broadcasts

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • An independent body to regulate election broadcasts may be established. [?]

Legal Framework for Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

Right to an Effective Remedy and Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Steps were taken to prevent and punish fraud and electoral offenses

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • The requirement to take steps to give effect to human rights is unqualified and of immediate effect. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include an obligation to regulate violations of human rights by non-state actors. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include a requirement to prevent, punish, investigate, or redress violations of human rights by non-state actors. [?]
  • The state has a duty to punish cases of electoral fraud. [?]

Training for Election Officials

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

The state educated officials and citizens on the voting process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]

Determining Voter Intent

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The intent of the voter was taken into consideration when determining ballot validity

  • The intent of the voter should be taken into consideration when determining the validity of ballots. [?]

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during the vote counting process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]

Training of Polling and Counting Workers

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The state educated officials and citizens on the vote counting and tabulation process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]

States Authorities Responsible for Upholding Rights

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

All branches of the government are responsible for protecting human rights, including those responsible for administering election processes

  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States should ensure transparency in the management of public affairs. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

The Legal Framework and Dispute Resolution

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral Dispute Resolution

The state implemented sanctions against those who violated the electoral law

  • Where a violation is found to have occurred states have a duty to punish those guilty of the violation. [?]
  • The state has a duty to punish cases of electoral fraud. [?]

Electoral dispute resolution took place in accordance with the principles of the rule of law

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

The law was clear regarding legal standing for electoral disputes

  • States must ensure that, in regard to human rights violations, individuals, groups of individuals, and non-governmental organizations have standing before judicial bodies. [?]

The Legal Framework and Voter Registration

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The Legal Framework and Election Management

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The electoral management body acted in conformity with the law

  • The election administration body should act in conformity with the law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The Legal Framework and Voter Education

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The Legal Framework and Candidacy and Campaigning

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The Legal Framework and the Media

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • The Media

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • While no electoral system is prescribed by international law, the system chosen must be consistent with international obligations and should be clearly stated in law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

Legal Framework and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

Oversight of Boundary Delimitation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights regarding the boundary delimitation process and the electoral system through effective oversight mechanisms

  • Boundary delimitation should be managed by an independent and impartial body. [?]

Recruitment of Electoral Management Body Staff

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The recruitment and appointment of electoral management body staff were transparent, efficient, and equitable and instilled public confidence in the body

  • Election management body personnel should receive adequate training to fulfill their function impartially. [?]
  • States should take steps to institutionalize good governance through accountable, efficient, and effective public administration. [?]
  • Sufficient funding and resources should be provided for the conduct of the electoral process, free from interference from any other electoral stakeholders. [?]

Training of Electoral Management Body Staff

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

Electoral management body personnel received training on the electoral process and international obligations

  • Election management body personnel should receive adequate training to fulfill their function impartially. [?]
  • Training for members of bodies responsible for election management should include training on human rights. [?]

Universal Suffrage, the Right to Vote, and Voter Education

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

All eligible voters were informed of their electoral rights before, during, and after election day

  • An adequate voter education process is necessary to ensure the electorate is able to utilize their rights. [?]

Voter education campaigns were responsive to the needs of the electorate

  • Voter education campaigns should be responsive to the needs to the electorate. [?]

Accuracy of the List

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The voter list was accurate and up-to-date

  • An adequate voter education process is necessary to ensure the electorate is able to utilize their rights. [?]

Sanctions for Campaign Finance Violations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

Violations of rules regarding political and campaign finance were subject to proportionate and effective sanctions

  • States should promote specialization of branches of the government in the fight against illegal campaign funding. [?]
  • States should require that the infringement of rules regarding party funding be subject to effective and proportionate sanctions. [?]

Voter Registration in Minority Languages

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Linguistic minorities were able to use their own language

  • Voter registration forms and guidelines should be available in minority languages of the country. [?]

Correction of Voter Registration Data

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Citizens that offered proof of identity had the right to rectify information about them that was inaccurate

  • The voter register and its maintenance must be conducted with complete transparency. [?]

Voting Technologies

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Electronic voting technologies operated correctly, and their functioning was ensured by the state through an independent body

  • The correct functioning of e-voting systems should be ensured by the state through an independent body. [?]



Sources

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