This paper proposes a reflection on the potential rise of the said right to democracy as a peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens), particularly for its intrinsic connection with the principle of self-determination of peoples, listed as jus cogens on the non-exhaustive list of the UN International Law Commission Report (A/74/10), and for the fulfillment, by the right in question, of the criteria listed in the referred Report. To this end, the issue of the absence of a universal concept of what democracy is and its delimitation for the purposes of the research was addressed, having being explained the existence - although not unanimous - of a right to democracy. In addition, the reasons why democracy is argued to be a necessary condition for the exercise of the already established right to self-determination of peoples are listed. From there, an analysis of the aforementioned UN Report followed, which defines the criteria for the recognition of imperative norms of general international law. We then proceeded to analyze such criteria in order to determine their applicability to democracy: whether, in fact, it constitutes a norm of general international law and whether, from there, it would be evolving towards becoming peremptory. The conclusion is that there are many elements that can support the classification of democracy as a norm of general international law and that, as indicated by the characteristics of the right to democracy in relation to the criteria listed by the Commission, as well as other indications and, still, the evolution of other jus cogens norms, the right to democracy seems to move towards becoming a peremptory norm of general international law.
|Date of Award
|16 Jun 2021
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|José Azeredo Lopes (Supervisor)
- Jus cogens