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Alternative title:

The impact of international law on the limitations of totalitarian, authoritarian, and dictatorship regime formation

Subject and Keywords:

authoritarianism   totalitarianism   dictatorship   state of emergency   international law   human rights   rule of law


Present international law is not entitled to directly intervene in domestic affairs of a state. Every nation may choose its system of government according to its aspirations as long as it does not threaten the broadly understood interest of other states or that of the international community. Totalitarian, authoritarian, and dictatorship regimes threaten the international peace and are considered harmful for internal affairs.Systems in which power was transferred to or exercised by one person have been known since the beginning of human history. In the republican orders of ancient Greece and Rome there were instances of dictatorships, yet they were treated as something exceptional caused by an external threat. The medieval period was the time of the monarchy, the republics being merely an exception. It was not until the Renaissance that ideas appeared offering the possibility of reviving old institutions and, in emergency situations, transferring power to one person endowed with specific prerogatives — the main proponent of this idea was Machiavelli. The new form of authoritarian, totalitarian, and dictatorship regimes in the 20th century had a significant impact on all of humanity. These ideologies were associated with the outbreak of two world conflicts, as well as many regional ones, and the violation of international norms and human rights. Soviet, German, and Italian totalitarianism, despite the differences in their manifestation, resulted in crimes committed by the governments on a huge scale, both against other countries and against their own citizens.The events of the 20th century in various parts of the world brought about gradual changes in international law. In order to protect peaceful relations and natural persons more effectively against totalitarian and authoritarian regimes as well as dictators, a series of norms aimed at monitoring the power began its development. No longer would states enjoy complete impunity, and their actions — both in the domestic and international spheres—may face a negative reaction from the international community. Instead, they have individual and collective rights allowing them to sanction other states for not complying with international treaty or customary obligations. In this regard, the solutions of a universal and regional nature aimed at monitoring initiatives taken by states are particularly noteworthy. Attention is drawn to the need to observe changes in domestic law which affect the international policy pursued by states. The United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the African Union, and American organizations place special emphasis on the illegality of an undemocratic (unconstitutional) change of government. Among other possibilities of suspending constitutional rule, they also have the power to declare astate of emergency. More and more often, apart from promoting the protection of fundamental rights, states and organizations pay attention to the rule of law and have numerous instruments at their disposal to oversee the states’ internal procedures and their possible international effects.

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ISSN 0239-6661   ISSN 0137-1126




PAd P 101182 II


pol   eng

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