La légitimité de la justice électorale en République Démocratique du Congo et au Burundi

Date: 9 December 2019

Venue: Universiteit Antwerpen, Stadscampus - Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - B-2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 5:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculty of Law

PhD candidate: Paterne Murhula Batumike

Principal investigator: Prof. Patricia Popelier (Faculty of Law), Prof. Stef Vandeginste (University of Law, IOB)

Short description: PhD defence Paterne Murhula Batumike - Faculty of Law

In this thesis, the author attempts to assess the legitimacy of electoral justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Burundi. The thesis consists of three parts.

The first part offers a theoretical and contextual framework for legitimacy. It leads to the intermediate conclusion that, first, the legitimacy of electoral justice in both states is largely dependent upon the legal and political framework put in place, and, second, the degree of conditioning of electoral justice by this double framework can be assessed against criteria that are crystallizable around the trilogy ‘input’, ‘output’ and ‘throughput’.

The second part conducts an empirical analysis of the institutional arrangement of electoral disputes. It leads to the identification of models of electoral justice in both states, and a better understanding of their organisation and functioning. This, in turn, is based on a profound and pertinent analysis of case law.

The third part is built on the first two parts. It identifies and discusses the main legitimacy problems in the light of the said trilogy. This way the most important blind spots of electoral justice in Congo and Burundi are revealed.

Finally, the concluding part suggests plurisectoral solutions formulated as responses to the polyformism inherent in the documented legitimacy issues. On the theoretical and scientific level, the thesis shows its originality in three main points of view. In the first place, it reaffirms the complementarity rather than the dichotomy or disjunction between legality and legitimacy. It rejects the thesis of the ‘metajuridic’ character attributed to legitimacy so as to better oppose it to legality. It takes position in favor of the thesis of mutual enrichment and interdependency between both concepts. In the second place, the analysis of the legitimacy of the legitimacy of electoral justice in Congo and Burundi in the light of the said trilogy supports the everlasting character of electoral disputes, thereby (dis)qualifiying its temporal character. This  nuance results from the analysis that applies the theoretical framework to electoral disputes, based on a distinction between ‘interpretative justice’ and ‘electoral disputes’ sensu stricto. For the specific case of Burundi, the study considers judicial consociationalism as an informal derivative of the formal political consociationalism.


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