Human rights in a one-party State

It is commonly assumed in the western world that the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms is to be found only in multiparty parliamentary democracies.

It may well be that the enjoyment and protection of civil and political rights has reached its highest point in those stable and prosperous western societies which have evolved or adopted this form of political system. This does not, however, justify the further assumption that there is little to choose between other forms of society in the matter of human rights. In practice there is a great deal of variation in the degree of openness which they enjoy.

After a seven-year interval, the International Commission of Jurists felt that it might be valuable to try to arrange a series of seminars on human rights on a regional or sub-regional basis in order to discuss relevant human rights questions in the light of the changing circumstances in each area.

It was decided to begin the series, if possible, with a seminar in East and Central Africa on human rights and the rule of law in a one-party state, so as to approach the subject afresh in the context of this new political philosophy and system.

human rights in one-party state-conference report-1976-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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