Sunday, March 02, 2008

A reminder

When it comes to politics, it's easy to spend all your time blogging about bad news. But it's important to remember that although politics can be dominated by venal, short-sighted and selfish motives, it doesn't have to be.

In 1978, the Principality of Liechtenstein was admitted to the Council of Europe, which gave it the right to nominate a judge to the European Court of Human Rights. Their nominated judge was the eminent Canadian jurist, the late Ronald St. John Macdonald, the only non-European appointed to the Court. MacDonald served on the Court for 18 years and was succeeded by the Swiss human rights lawyer, Mark Villiger. To quote James Wimberley:

Liechtenstein thus set a truly revolutionary precedent for staffing international bodies simply with the most qualified people.

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