Promoting Democracy through International Law

A Report of the Empire and Democracy Project

March 31, 2004

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The contributors argue that the Bush administration’s approach to democratization does not draw adequately on international law. The trial of Saddam Hussein and treatment of prisoners of war violate normal due process and, equally importantly, are symptomatic of an attitude that places elections first and basic human rights second. As a result, the model of democracy that is being promoted in and beyond the Arab world is neither sufficiently effective nor legitimate in the eyes of local populations and the international community.

The contributors propose a range of actions to enable the U.S. to regain its position as a standard-bearer on civil and political rights. They also discuss the relative merits of trials and truth commissions, the doctrine of pre-emption, and the role of the media.

Table of Contents
Foreword from the President
Joel Rosenthal

Democracy and Rule of Law Endangered
Remarks by Andrew Kuper

How International Law Strengthens New Democracies
Remarks by Richard Goldstone

No Democracy without International Law
Remarks by Aryeh Neier

Questions and Answers
1. Trials versus truth commissions
2. Responsible media and the complexity of international law
3. The Bush Doctrine of pre-emption: Is it legal?
4. Would a democracy compliance mechanism work?




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