Obligation

Rule of Law

International and regional treaties are increasingly making explicit reference to the rule of law.[1] While not explicitly articulated as an obligation in the ICCPR, the rule of law is recognized as an essential condition for the fulfillment of human rights and representative democracy.[[2]] International and regional treaties also say that states should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law, keeping in mind that all people are equal before the law and that laws should be equally enforced.[3] Laws must also be consistent with international human rights,[4] and treaty obligations should be implemented in good faith.[5] Conversely, provisions of domestic law may not be used to justify failure to perform treaty obligations.[6] Interpretive sources indicate that laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied.[7] Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by laws that are objective and reasonable.[8]

Issues


The Legal Framework and Election Management

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The authority of the electoral management body was recognized by key stakeholders

  • Everyone participating in the election should recognize the authority of the election commission. [?]

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

The Legal Framework for Electoral Systems and Boundary Delimitation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

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

  • The process of boundary delimitation should be clearly stated in law. [?]
  • Voting processes must be subject to the rule of law, not to decisions of the current government or a single party. [?]

The Legal Framework and Voter Registration

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

Voter registration procedures were clearly stipulated by law

  • Voter registration procedures should be clearly stipulated in law. [?]
  • Registration procedures should be clearly stated and readily accessible for review by potential voters. [?]

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

Recruitment of Electoral Management Body Staff

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The appointment to and membership of the electoral management body were regulated by law

  • Laws regulating the membership of electoral commissions should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level above ordinary law. [?]

The Legal Framework and Voter Education

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The Legal Framework and Candidacy and Campaigning

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

Campaign finance regulation was consistent with the principles of the rule of law

  • The legal framework should address all components of the system of party and candidate financing. [?]
  • Campaign finance legislation should be publicly available. [?]
  • Legislation on political party and campaign finance should avoid conflicting provisions governing the activities of political parties and their financial activities. [?]
  • Legislation should cover fundamental issues such as sources of funding, private donations, public subsidies to political parties, the financing of election campaigns and provisions for disclosure, reporting, monitoring, and enforcement. [?]
  • Legislation on political party and campaign finance should be clear and unambiguous. [?]
  • Legislation on political party and campaign finance should avoid conflicting provisions between laws governing the financing of national and sub-national parties. [?]

The Legal Framework and the Media

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • The Media

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

Legal Framework for Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Voting processes should be guided by regulatory frameworks and should be subject to the rule of law. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

Legal Framework and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

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

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Closing and counting procedures should be established by law. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The Legal Framework and Dispute Resolution

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral Dispute Resolution

The state implemented sanctions against those who violated the electoral law

  • Effective implementation of electoral law requires sanctions against the infringement of electoral law. [?]

Laws and procedures were not arbitrarily applied

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

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

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The law was clear regarding legal standing for electoral disputes

  • The law should clearly state who has standing to file an election dispute. [?]

Derogation of Obligations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

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

  • Laws governing states of emergency should provide a prompt and independent review by the legislature of the necessity of derogation measures. [?]
  • At times, in a state of emergency, it may be necessary for a state to relax the full protection of human rights and electoral obligations or derogate their obligations. [?]

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

  • Provisions of internal law may not be used as justification for failure to perform a treaty. [?]

Rule of Law and the Legal Framework

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Electoral legislation at all levels should not conflict. [?]
  • The legal framework should be available in the official languages of the country. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should be made widely available to the public for review. [?]
  • Electoral legislation for all elections should be located in a single body of laws. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should be publicly promulgated. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • The rule of law should be strengthened by public participation in decision making. [?]
  • Subsidiary legislation should lay out clear and precise regulations and administrative instructions for the electoral process. [?]

Sanctions for violations of the electoral law were proportionate, appropriate, and effectively enforced

  • Effective implementation of electoral law requires sanctions against the infringement of electoral law. [?]
  • The legal framework for elections should provide effective redress for violations of electoral rights. [?]

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • Electoral legislation should be publicly promulgated. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]

The legal framework for elections was stable

  • No substantial change to the electoral law should be made within the six months prior to the election without the consent of a majority of political actors. [?]

The Right to an Effective Remedy, Including Challenging Election Results

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

The legal framework provided citizens with an effective (timely and enforceable) remedy throughout the electoral process

  • The legal framework for elections should provide effective redress for violations of electoral rights. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • Effective implementation of electoral law requires sanctions against the infringement of electoral law. [?]

Choice of the Electoral System

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Electoral System and Boundary Delimitation

The electoral system allowed multiparty participation and actual and equal representation

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

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)

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]

Any restrictions placed on fundamental rights were reasonable and objective

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]

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

  • Subsidiary legislation should lay out clear and precise regulations and administrative instructions for the electoral process. [?]

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

  • Treaty obligations should be implemented in good faith. [?]

Candidature

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

Every citizen had the right to be elected, subject only to reasonable restrictions

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]

Authority and Responsibility of the Electoral Management Body in Interpreting the Law

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework

The role of the electoral management body in interpreting and administering the election law was clearly defined in the legal framework

  • Everyone participating in the election should recognize the authority of the election commission. [?]
  • Legislation should give clear instructions on the role of the election commission in interpreting and administering the election law. [?]

Sources

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