Democracy and the Preservation of Minority Identity: Fragmentation within the European Human Rights Framework

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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The international human rights (ihr) and international minority rights (imr) regimes have very different origins. However, the two regimes converged in the 20th century, and imr are now understood to be a sub-regime of ihr. This article argues that the different historical origins of the two regimes impact how actors within each regime interpret their mission, and have resulted in institutional fragmentation within the Council of Europe. The mission of the European Court of Human Rights is the promotion and protection of democracy, whereas the Advisory Committee to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minority’s mission is the preservation of minority identity. In practice, this has led to conflicting interpretations of multi-sourced equivalent norms. It is suggested that inter-institutional dialogue provides an avenue through which these conflicting interpretations can be mediated.