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Who Watches the Watchmen? Independent Observers, Constitutional Principles and Democratic Accountability

Stanford, B Who Watches the Watchmen? Independent Observers, Constitutional Principles and Democratic Accountability. The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, 8. ISSN 2452-0578 (Accepted)

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This article examines the role, functions, and accountability of independent observers through the lens of constitutional values and principles, including relevant international human rights obligations. Whilst independent observers operate in a wide variety of contexts, vary between trained professionals and volunteers, and abide by different legal regimes and advisory frameworks, the work that they do helps to safeguard common constitutional values and principles. After providing an overview of these values and principles the article focuses on two particular types of observers in the United Kingdom, respectively, election observers and prisoner escort and court custody observers. The article argues that the role of independent observers has always been crucial to promoting transparency and accountability in state institutions and processes, and therefore also safeguarding democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Nevertheless, these functions have become even more essential in recent years due to evolving and developing challenges which have eroded democratic accountability to some extent. At the same time, ensuring that observers themselves are subject to adequate scrutiny and accountability is essential to ensure their effectiveness.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Law
Publisher: Brill
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 May 2024 13:29
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:29
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21220
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