Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


Same Varayudej


This paper will first look at the traditional concept of sovereignty and the undemocratic features of traditional international law. It will then discuss the development of democratic governance in the United Nations and regional international organisations, as well as the pro-democratic interventions in international law. Moreover, the paper will critically analyse the recent claims by prominent international legal scholars that a "right to democracy" is now emerging in international law and that all communities are entitled to democratic rules of governance. It will then consider whether, and to what extent, the notion of democratic entitlement has crystallised into a customary rule of international law. The paper will finally assess the implications of the right to democracy on Asian cultural and social values. The aim of this paper is not to provide any definitive answers, but to raise some questions relevant to future debate on the emergence of democratic entitlement.