Application: Influence on Public Policy Essay
Public policy issue
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The primary public policy issue selected is Civil and Human Rights. Under this policy, every individual is subjected to certain civil liberties (Munck, 2016). As such, discriminations based on religion, nationality or sex is prohibited. Also, false imprisonments, torture or death penalty are serious civil and human rights violations that are criminalized in the U.S.
Three democratic principles/processes
The principle of majority rule and protecting the rights of the minority
This policy explicitly defines the existence of a democratic institution of government. Under this law, individual and minority rights are protected against the tyranny of the majority (Pollak & Fossum, 2015). The majority here is described as such institutions or governments that decide important public issues that are likely to oppress the minority. The minorities, whether based on religion or nationality should be protected against possible repression by the government or any other dominant group.
For instance, in the U.S, the government, after the 9/11 attack may have taken away the fundamental rights and freedom of minority groups or individuals through false imprisonments and torture (Wilke, 2005). The Guantánamo Bay Detainees are reportedly tortured which is a direct violation of their civil and human rights under international laws.
This principle stresses the importance of the protection of fundamental civil and human rights such as the freedom of religion and belief, equal protection and freedom of expression (Wilke, 2005). The lobby groups mostly champion for the voice of the minorities in any democratic society while embracing the pillars of the principle of majority rules and protecting the rights of the minorities (Nicoll Victor, 2007).
The principle of the Rule of Law
Under this principle of democracy, the fundamental political, social and economic rights of every individual is to be protected. The policy stresses that lawlessness and tyranny of the majority should not be allowed to take root in any democratic society (Arts et al., 2014). Thus, governments are subjected to some legal constraints and are obliged to subscribe to the will of the people. For instance, the rule of law in the U.S dictates that no citizen should be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. However, if, for any other reason, a U.S citizen is arrested, then a speedy public trial should be initiated. The citizens are also protected against possible torture and any form of coercion by the government and a full protection of their civil and human rights (Arts et al., 2014).
However, the Guantánamo Bay Detainees are deprived of rights that are typically accorded to U.S citizens’ detainees, and this can be defined as selected application of the rule of law. Legislation and procedures should apply fairly and equally irrespective of nationality, race or religion, and arbitrary arrests and imprisonments of terror suspects are prohibited under the rule of law. The Guantánamo Bay Detainees or any other terror suspects have the right to be heard by an impartial court and not a military tribunal that is more likely to violate their civil and human rights (Wilke, 2005).
The principle of an independent judiciary
During the post-9/11 terrorism cases trails, the U.S government continually undermined the independence of the judiciary significantly undermining the civil and human rights of the detainees (Wilke, 2005). For instance, by establishing a military tribunal, the U.S government was perceived to be challenging the authority and independence of civilian courts. The formation of military tribunals aimed at restricting the application of justice and limiting the defence of the detainees, and a direct challenge to the authority and jurisdiction of the civilian courts. The formation of military tribunals can also be seen as succumbing to political pressure and dictatorship by the majority. The result has been serious violation of individual’s rights and freedom to fair trial and defence (Wilke, 2005).
The influence of democratic principles/processes the formulation of public policy
The above discussed democratic principles and processes all aim at ensuring the zealous protection of human civil rights and freedom. Civil and human rights as a predominant public policy in the two articles can be influenced and determined by the above democratic principles. The principles stresses on the value of tolerance, cooperation and compromise which all define the very tenets of this public policy issue.
Application: Influence on Public Policy Essay Reference
Arts, K., Fischer, A., & van der Wal, R. (2014). Political decision making, governance shifts and Scottish animal reintroductions: are democratic principles at stake?. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(4), 612-628.
Munck, G. L. (2016). What is democracy? A reconceptualization of the quality of democracy. Democratization, 23(1), 1-26.
Nicoll Victor, J. (2007). Strategic lobbying: Demonstrating how legislative context affects interest groups’ lobbying tactics. American Politics Research, 35(6), 826-845.
Pollak, J., & Fossum, J. E. (2015). Which democratic principles? What deficit?.
Wilke, C. (2005). War v. Justice: Terrorism cases, enemy combatants, and political justice in US courts. Politics & Society, 33(4), 637-669.
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