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Elections on Trial: Strengthening Electoral Jurisprudence Knowledge and Networks  

PURPOSE

Increasingly, the credibility of elections and stability of the election environment hinge on the effective remedy of disputes throughout the electoral cycle. Ultimately, the strength of the election dispute resolution (EDR) process can have a profound impact on whether results are accepted. However, even as EDR mechanisms have become more central to election contests, gaps in understanding and capacity on key elements persist. Availability of case law and case management tools for specialized electoral complaints is extremely limited and while multiple networks for election administrators exist, most election arbiters lack peer support, evincing a significant need for knowledge exchange on EDR.

  • What elements make up procedural justice in electoral complaints and how can case management mechanisms protect these elements?
  • How can sustainable regional networks be designed and established to support peer-to-peer exchange on EDR?
  • What specialized case law exists on electoral complaints and how can it be disseminated to best support election arbiters?
APPROACH

In order to address the gap in knowledge around procedural justice and case management in EDR and to build strong electoral justice communities of practice, CEPPS/IFES will:

  • Develop a comparative research paper on procedural justice in election complaints and EDR case management systems;
  • Partner with networks of judges and election administrators to establish working groups on electoral jurisprudence in Africa and Eastern Europe; and
  • Develop a compendium of election case law for use by election arbiters.

DELIVERABLE

The research conducted under this project is already being incorporated into EDR training for practitioners and democracy and governance programming work. The comparative research paper has become part of academic understanding of EDR issues though presentation and peer discussion at the annual conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in 2017 and will be disseminated further at the annual conference of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in 2018. The regional working groups are designed to be self- sustaining communities of practice that will directly utilize the compendium of election case law to inform the adjudication of election cases within national and regional jurisdictions. The compendium will also be further distributed directly amongst election arbiters and practitioners to strengthen knowledge about common types of cases and remedies applied.

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