Global Administrative Law in the Operation of International Organizations

Accountability and Independence of International Election Observers


Anne van Aaken, Richard Chambers

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International Election Monitoring has become ever more important in the national as well as the international context. Plenty of (regional) International Organizations (and NGOs) send Election Observers Missions (EOMs) to countries in order to assess the quality of their democratic process and elections. Whereas the influence of EOMs is largely undisputed, their independence, impartiality and accountability have been less discussed. This paper describes the legal set-up of EOMs in order to assess their independence. It also uses accountability mechanisms as discussed in international law scholarship (ILA Report and the Global Administrative Law project) in order to analyze the accountability mechanisms currently in place for EOMs.