克里斯蒂娜·宾德:从国际人权角度看新冠疫情流行时期的选举 - 第三单元:人权文化多样性与团结合作抗击疫情 - 中国人权网

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克里斯蒂娜·宾德:从国际人权角度看新冠疫情流行时期的选举

2020-06-02 16:41:17来源:中国人权网

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奥地利维也纳大学跨学科人权研究中心副主任克里斯蒂娜·宾德教授(网络会议视频截图)
 
  2020年5月30日下午,由中国人权研究会指导、华中科技大学人权法律研究院主办的“疫情防控中的中西方人权观比较”国际视频研讨会召开。会议采取现场和网络相结合的形式,来自联合国人权高专办、联合国人权高专办驻几内亚办事处、奥地利、荷兰、英国、巴基斯坦、尼泊尔和中国等国家和地区的40余名人权专家、官员参加了线上研讨。奥地利维也纳大学跨学科人权研究中心副主任克里斯蒂娜·宾德教授在”第三单元:人权文化多样性与团结合作抗击疫情“上作题为《从国际人权角度看新冠疫情流行时期的选举》的发言。

从国际人权视角分析新冠肺炎疫情期间的选举

克里斯蒂娜·宾德教授/博士(Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christina Binder, E.MA)

  新冠病毒不仅仅给欧洲民主政体造成巨大挑战,在选举方面也是如此。面对新冠肺炎疫情,各国选择了不同的应对方式:一些国家决定举行现场选举;另一些则完全依赖远程投票技术(邮寄投票)。许多选举都被推迟。不论是举行还是推迟选举,都对一国公民的人权产生了重大影响。

  这篇简短的论文将首先从国际人权的视角分析新冠肺炎疫情期间的选举活动。国家有义务遏制疫情蔓延,也有义务保护公民的生命和健康权,这与公民政治参与权(包括与之相关的言论、集会和活动自由)的实现相抵触。具体而言,我们能从国际人权法中得到何种指导?有人认为,尽管国际人权标准给国家留有一定自主决定的空间,但也同时限制了国家行动。

  在第二部分,本文概述了指导一个国家是否举行或推迟选举的参数,这些参数涵盖各种因素,例如疫情的强度、后勤/财务上的考量、政治和法律背景,以及最重要的,在有疫情的影响下选举仍然能够基本按照国际标准举行的可能性。

  在第三部分,基于一国在新冠肺炎疫情期间举行选举的假设,本文将审视为遏制疫情蔓延、确保选民和投票站工作人员的安全而采取的各种预防措施。这涉及现场选举以及其他投票技术,并涉及选举的不同阶段。例如,理想情况下,选民登记应在没有面对面接触的前提下进行;竞选活动主要通过社交媒体进;投票站工作人员的培训可以通过互联网进行。在选举当日,如果举行现场选举,投票活动可以延长数天,以避免人群拥挤;投票站的可以重新布置,以确保选民之间保持必要的1.5米社交距离;现场应准备好提供消毒液,并检测选民的体温。应当允许弱势群体(特定风险群体)进行远程投票。此外,本文还将分析其他投票技术,例如邮寄投票、在线投票、代理投票或移动通信投票。虽然以上方法都是合理的,但每种方法都有其自身的风险和挑战,需要有所考虑。本文将参照国际标准和最佳做法——民主选举的关键因素,即普遍、平等、自由、秘密和直接选举,来探讨不同的预防措施。此外,也会基于能力、资源和可用时间,来讨论现有备选方案的可行性。现有的国家选举实例表明,结合多种选举方法的优势、平衡其劣势,能够为疫情期间举行民主选举提供最佳机会。

  论文的结论是,疫情期间选举方案的选择最终取决于一国的国内情况(包括一国利用其他选举技术的经验):在新冠状病毒流行的情况下,是否举行选举以及如何举行选举,没有“放之四海而皆准”的答案。国际人权的视角仍然可以提供指导。

lections in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemia:An International Human Rights Perspective

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christina Binder, E.MA

The Coronavirus poses considerable challenges to European democracies, also in case of elections. States have opted for different approaches in face of the COVID-19 pandemic: some countries have decided to hold in-person elections; others have relied exclusively on remote voting techniques (postal voting). Many elections have been postponed. Both, holding as well as postponing elections has considerable implications for a state’s citizens’ human rights.

This brief presentation will start with an international human rights perspective on elections in the time of the Coronavirus. A state’s duty to limit the spread of the pandemic and its obligation to protect the rights to life and health of its citizens stands in tension to the realisation of their right to political participation (and the related freedoms of expression, assembly andmovement). Respectively, what guidance can be derived from international human rights law?It is argued that while international human rights standards give some leeway to states, they also put limits to state action.

In a second step, the presentation outlines parameters to guide a state’s decision as to whether to hold elections or rather postpone them. These parameters include diverse factors such as the intensity of the pandemic, logistical/financial considerations, the political and legal context as well as, most importantly, the probability of holding elections generally in accordance with international standards notwithstanding the pandemic.

In a third step, on the assumption that a state holds elections in time of the Coronavirus, various mitigating measures to limit the spread of the pandemic and to ensure the safety of voters and poll-workers will be examined. They concern in-person elections as well as alternative voting techniques and relate to different phases of an election. For example, voter-registration should ideally take place without face-to-face contact; the election campaign be conducted predominantly in the social media; and the training of polling station personnel could take place via the internet. On election day, if in-person elections are held, polling/voting can be extended over several days to avoid crowding; the set-up of polling stations can be re-arranged to ensure that the required 1.5 meters space between voters is kept; disinfectants should be provided and voters’ temperature taken. Vulnerable groups (members of specific risk groups) should have the possibility to vote remotely. In addition, alternative voting techniques such as postal voting,online-, proxy- or mobile-voting will be analysed. While either is legitimate, each approach bears its own risks and challenges that need to be accounted for. The different mitigating measures will be discussed with reference to international standards and best practices - the key elements of democratic elections, i.e. universal, equal, free, secret and direct suffrage. In addition, the feasibility of existing options will be addressed in view of the capacities, resources and available time. Existing country examples show that the combination and balancing of their benefits and drawbacks provide the best chances for the holding of democratic elections in times of a pandemic.

The presentation concludes that it ultimately depends on the domestic situation (including a state’s experience with alternative voting techniques) which will push for one or the other solution: there is no “one-fits-all answer” as to whether and how to hold elections in times of the COVID-19 Pandemia. Still an international human rights perspective offers guidance.


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