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Direkte Demokratie und Menschenrechte

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

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Abstract

There is a basic tension between the principle of democracy and the rule of law. This becomes obvious whenever the Swiss citizens accept an initiative that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. First, we discuss the traditions behind these two principles before we survey the empirical papers about the relation between direct democracy and minority rights in the US as well as in Switzerland. Then we discuss the literature on the relation between direct democracy and death penalty. There, the conflict becomes rather obvious. Solutions, which will always involve compromises between these two principles, necessitate some role of the Supreme Court, at the cost of some, but only minor limitations of direct popular rights.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 with number 2009-27.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2009:2009-27

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Keywords: Direct Democracy; Human Rights; Constitution; Rule of Law;

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  1. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  2. Kubik, Jeffrey D & Moran, John R, 2003. "Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and the Timing of Executions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-25, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Direkte Demokratie," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

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