1st Edition

The Right to Political Participation A Study of the Judgments of the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights

    440 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    440 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides a comparative analysis of how judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) affect political participation and electoral justice at the national level.

    Looking at specific countries, the work analyses the legal impact the implementation of the ECtHR and the IACtHR judgments has, with a specific focus on cases in which the regional court concerned uses the “democratic argument,” that is, an argument related to democracy and political rights. The reasoning is that, although democracy is a much wider concept, judgments concerning violations of political rights and electoral justice provide reliable indicators to assess the status and sustainability of democracy in a State. Moreover, the analysis of the violations of political rights and electoral justice allows an in-depth comparison between the two regional human rights systems. Mindful of the broader scope of the fall-out generated by the non-implementation of judgments, including in socio-economic terms, the book includes a section exploring how judgments issued by the ECtHR and the IACtHR affect voters’ participation in the countries under their jurisdiction. To this end, an original dataset including the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe and the 20 countries which recognised the adjudicatory jurisdiction of the IACtHR is built.

    Multidisciplinary in aim and scope of analysis, the book will be an invaluable resource for researchers, academics, and policy-makers working in the areas of constitutional law, international human rights law, and political economy.

    Preface (Richard Albert)

    Introduction: The Role of International Human Rights Courts in Ensuring the Right to Political Participation and Promoting Sustainable Democracy (Gabriella Citroni, Irene Spigno, Palmina Tanzarella)

    Part I – The European Court of Human Rights.

    1. 1. The (Not) Impact of the European Court of Human Rights’ Judgement on the Protection of Political Rights in Azerbaijan (Palmina Tanzarella).

    2. Crackdown on Dissent: The Court of Strasbourg and the Right to Vote in Bulgaria (Paolo Zicchittu).

    3. The Role of the European Court of Human Rights in Securing Voting Rights Of Minorities in the Ethnically-Divided Republic of Cyprus (Irene Valotti).

    4. The Right to Vote of Persons with Mental Disabilities in Hungary under Art. 3 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (Simone Gianello).

    5. Italian Democracy in Strasbourg and the Compliance with Europe-an Court’ Judgments on Political Rights. A Light in a Dark Panorama (Irene Spigno).

    6. Democracy and Political Participation in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia: A Complicated Combination Under the Lens of the European Court of Human Rights (Francesca Pirola).

    7. At Any Cost? The Economic and Legal Response of Romania to the European Court of Human Rights Judgments Relating to Art. 3 of Protocol 1 to the Euro-pean Convention on Human Rights (Francesca Mussi).

    8. Right to Vote and the Right to have the Last Word: Russia and the European Court of Human Rights Facing Political Rights (Simone Penasa).

    9. . Democracy And The Right To Free Elections In Turkey. What Role For The European Court Of Human Rights? (Valentina Rita Scotti).

    10. Prisoners’ Voting Rights and the Long-Lasting Political Resistance to the Implementation of the European Court of Human Rights’ Judgments (Alessandra Osti).

    Part. II- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

    11. The Protection of the Political Rights of Minorities in the Inter-American System. An Analysis of the Norin Catrimán Case and the Right to Political Participation in the State of Chile (Laura Cappuccio).

    12. Threats Against Political Rights and Democracy in Colombia: Execution of Political Leaders (José Antonio Estrada Marún, Luis Efrén Ríos Vega and Lillian Sánchez Calderoni).

    13. Political Rights of Human Rights Defenders and Indigenous Lead-ers in the Inter-American Court: A Case Study from Guatemala (Vanessa Gutiérrez Espinoza, Magda Yadira Robles Garza).

    14. Electoral Rights In Nicaragua: The Unbearable Lightness of Non-Implementation? (Gabriella Citroni).

    15. Political Rights in Venezuela: An Outstanding Issue (Yessica Esquivel Alonso, Fernando Gustavo Ruz Dueñas).

    Part III – An Empirical Assessment Based on Political Economy.

    16. The Relationship Between the Courts of Human Rights Decisions and Voter Turnout. An Empirical Analysis on Europe and Latin America (Simone Pellegrino, Gilberto Turati).

    Conclusions: Are Contemporary Democracies Sustainable? Some Concluding Remarks (Gabriella Citroni, Irene Spigno, Palmina Tanzarella).


    Gabriella Citroni is Researcher in International Law and Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Milan, Italy). She is in charge of the course on "Enforced Disappearances in International Law" at the LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights organised by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She acts as senior legal advisor of the NGO TRIAL International. She has published extensively in the field of international human rights law.

    Irene Spigno is General Director of the Inter-American Academy of Human Rights of the Autonomous University of Coahuila (Mexico) and Director of its Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Constitutional Law from the University of Siena in Italy and is full professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Coahuila (Mexico). Her research interests include freedom of expression, and in particular hate speech, constitutional justice, multiculturalism in comparative perspective, and gender studies.

    Palmina Tanzarella is Researcher in Constitutional Law at University of Milano-Bicocca (Milan, Italy). She teaches Italian and European Constitutional Law and State Building. She published on the European and Inter-American protection of Human Rights. At present, her research includes hate speech as limitation of freedom of expression in the European framework. She collaborates as advisor with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).