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Expanding Influence: Regional Human Rights Courts and Death Penalty Abolition

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Chapter Summary

Great strides have been made in abolishing the death penalty throughout the world. Although a largely post - World War II effort, an increasing number of nations have moved toward death penalty abolition. Some nations new to abolition, for example, have done so &t;against the grain of strong public and political sentiment&t; merely to gain membership in the Council of Europe (COE), seen as a &t;stepping stone&t; to European Union (EU) accession. Nevertheless, progress toward abolition has been achieved on an international scale and regional human rights systems have played a significant role in that process. This chapter addresses the decisions critical to each court's efforts to advance the abolition of the death penalty and the effectiveness of those decisions. Abolitionist nations have taken the matter beyond extradition into the area of offering mutual legal assistance.

Keywords: Council of Europe (COE); death penalty abolition; European Union (EU) accession; regional human rights



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