IS MODERN DEMOCRACY A THREAT TO HUMAN RIGHTS? EVIDENCE AND REMEDIES FROM LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL PRACTICES
Democracy and human rights are two fundamental facets of the prevailing discourse on government and governance. While proponents of democracy uphold that democracy is the best form of government to guarantee the realisation of human rights, human rights advocates posit that the respect of fundamental freedoms supports democracy. Proponents of democracy and advocates of human rights are unanimous that democracy and human rights are mutually dependent and enforcing. Wherefrom the justified expectation that progress in democracy will translate to advances in the respect, protection, promotion and [progressive] realisation of human rights. Curiously, the reality opines the contrary. Despite [apparent] progress in democracy, cases of human rights violation with impunity are on the rise. It is on this premise that the current study seeks to explore and provide an answer to the question pertaining to whether modern democracy is a threat to human rights. While the need and merits of government are unambiguous across the spectrum, a consensus on the best form of government to guarantee the safeguard of human rights and fundamental freedoms is more illusionary than an expectation. Collated facts and evidence reveal that the modern democratic design seeks to override the right to self-determination with attempts to impose uniformity over universality. Furthermore, modern democracy is neither – “government of the people, by the people, for the people” nor “rule by the will of the majority”. At best, modern democracy is government by the consent of the politically active majority constituting only the minority of a sovereign people.