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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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Conclusions and policy implications

Conclusions and policy implications

(p.147) Conclusions and policy implications
Courts and Consociations

Christopher McCrudden

Brendan O’Leary

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a synthesis of the preceding discussions. It considers the implications of the European Court of Human Rights' decision in Sejdić and Finci. The Court's decision is ambiguous and can be given either a broader or narrower interpretation (the former being more sceptical of consociations than the latter). If the broader interpretation subsequently proves to be the correct interpretation, and indicates the likely trajectory of this and other human rights courts' reactions to consociations, then this may have several problematic consequences. The chapter also suggests that courts weigh more than the judgments of legal advisory bodies and human rights non-governmental organizations when they evaluate whether critical human rights are adversely affected by consociational bargains. Liberalizing some features of the Bosnian consociation would likely lead to a better political system for all Bosnians, but deciding when to make such changes, who is to make them, and how they should be made must not be in the hands of a court.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, Sejdić and Finci, consociational arrangements, human rights

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