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Title: Conceptualising political candidacy as a human right
Author: Johns, Alecia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 5603
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the justificatory basis of the right to candidacy, otherwise referred to as the right to stand for election, and assesses the implications of characterising political candidacy as a human right. It examines the extent of the right's legal recognition in international, regional and domestic human rights law with specific focus on the jurisprudence of the United States, Canada and the ECtHR. This dissertation then offers a theoretical justification for the existence of a moral right to candidacy in all liberal democracies. This justificatory account highlights how the following values and interests underlie the right to candidacy: dignity (as social recognition of one's equal moral status), autonomy, self-expression and self-development. It further examines the derivative justifications for the right to candidacy by outlining the extent to which it is necessary for the effective exercise of the right to vote, freedom of association and the maintenance of a common liberal culture. The correlative duties to which the right gives rise are also examined. It is argued that the right entails duties to respect, protect and fulfil. The duty to respect imposes a negative obligation on the State to refrain from imposing unjustifiable disqualifications or eligibility requirements for elective office. The duty to protect entails an obligation to safeguard against infringements of the right by political parties in their candidate selection processes. Thirdly, the duty to fulfil involves a positive obligation to organise and administer free and fair elections with a reasonably level playing field in which candidates may compete. This thesis subsequently explores the institutional implementation of these duties and how the values and interests underlying the right should help inform the scope and content of such duties in the jurisdictions specified above.
Supervisor: Craig, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human rights ; political rights ; candidacy ; right to stand for election ; right to vote ; electoral rights ; citizenship