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Courts and ConsociationsHuman Rights versus Power-Sharing$
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Christopher McCrudden and Brendan O'Leary

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676842.001.0001

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Sejdić and Finci and consociational futures

Sejdić and Finci and consociational futures

(p.104) (p.105) 8 Sejdić and Finci and consociational futures
Courts and Consociations

Christopher McCrudden

Brendan O’Leary

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the implications of the European Court of Human Rights' decision in Sejdić and Finci. It suggests that the reasoning presented by the Court to justify its decision is surprisingly sketchy and somewhat ambiguous. On one reading, what the Court was doing was casting a sceptical gaze on consociations generally. Taken to an extreme, the logic of the Court's position might be seen as ‘a prelude to a complete shift from ethnocracy to full affirmation of citizens as individuals in the organisation of the state’. But, on another view, the case may have less dramatic effects on other consociational agreements. First, the decision deals only with who can be a candidate for office rather than with who can define the voting constituency that chooses among the candidates. Second, there is more than a hint in some of the scholarly commentary on the case that the Dayton Agreement was viewed more negatively than any other consociational agreement would be. A third reason to regard the decision as of possibly limited effect on Bosnian arrangements and on consociations generally is that perhaps all that the Court was aiming to achieve was to require the parties to liberalize the existing Bosnian consociational arrangements by specifying that the ‘Others’ should have the opportunity to be elected to the presidency and the House of Peoples.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, Sejdić and Finci, elections, consociational arrangements, consociations

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