Christina Binder, Lando Kirchmair
Die Legitimität internationaler Wahlstandards: Völkerrechtliche Defizite und eine politikwissenschaftliche Perspektive
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This article examines the legitimacy of international electoral standards with particular focus on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and election observation missions by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Both institutions have contributed considerally to the development of electrical standards. The ECtHR has dynamically interpreted the right to free elections in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the ECHR yet the development and implementation of electoral standards by OSCE/ODIHR election missions have an insufficient basis in the general invitation of election observers and the electoral commitments of the OSCE Copenhagen Document of 1990. Thus, the state consent originally given – the primary source of legitimacy in traditional international law – appears to be an insufficient basis for the exercise of both institutions' authority. Additional theories are therefore necessary to legitimize the authority of international law and international institutions in the field of electoral standards. Against this background this article analyzes – legitimacy theories of traditional international law, and – whether legitimacy theories from political science can provide further support. In reliance on the seven-sources legitimacy conception advanced by Michael Zürn, the article shows that even dynamically developed international electoral standards might nevertheless enjoy legitimacy.