"International Law as a Norm for Assessing Elections" Event February 20

I got this in email today:

The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy cordially invites you to a luncheon presentation entitled What Is “Free & Fair”? International Law as a Norm for Assessing Elections


Michael Boda
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

with comments by

David Carroll
Carter Center


Patrick Merloe
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
12:00 noon-2:00 p.m.
(Lunch served 12:00-12:30 pm)

Please Note New Address:

1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800

Washington, DC 20004

Tel.: 202-378-9675

RSVP (acceptances only) with name and affiliation by Friday, February 16 by email to fellowsrsvp@ned.org

For the past six decades, international and nongovernmental organizations have been formally evaluating elections, traditionally in “developing” democracies, but in recent years in “established” democracies as well. While “free and fair” has most often been espoused as the baseline for judging an election’s success or failure, a widely accepted definition of the term has not yet emerged. Michael Boda will consider this problem in the light of public international law. Drawing on his scholarly research and experience as an election consultant, he will offer an approach to assessing elections that allows for an expansion and refinement of election-related international obligations and propose a method by which observers might better connect these obligations to actual electoral practice. Comments on his presentation will be offered by David Carroll and Patrick Merloe.

Michael Boda, an international election consultant, has worked with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the OSCE, the Carter Center, and the U.S. National Association of Secretaries of State on election standards and administration. In 2003-2004, he was a visiting research fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he conducted research on electoral processes. Between 1995 and 2000, he served as senior editor and deputy director of information resources at IFES, where he established and
managed three global web-based election resources, the Administration and Cost of Elections Encyclopedia, CNN-IFES Election Watch, and ElectionGuide.org. He is the author and editor of various publications on election administration and observation, including Revisiting Free and Fair Elections (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2005). David Carroll is director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center. Patrick Merloe is a senior associate at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he directs programs on electoral processes.