Idiosyncratic voting in the UNGA death penalty moratorium resolutions
On 18 December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a landmark resolution calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with 104 votes in favor and 54 votes against. By 2018, there had been seven such UNGA resolutions tabled and passed. This article examines UN member states’ voting practices over these seven resolutions to answer the question: why do states vote as they do? UN member states’ votes on the resolutions are largely a reflection of their existing domestic laws on the death penalty: voting in favor if they have abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes, and voting against if they retain the death penalty in law and continue to use it. Not all member states, however, vote in a manner consistent with their domestic legal stance. Through analysis of the roll-call voting data, political statements from national leaders, background material on each country’s death penalty practice, together with interviews with representatives from several relevant UN Missions in New York City, in this article the authors discern and explain patterns in the idiosyncratic voting motivations of these states.
International Journal of Human Rights
Pascoe, Daniel and Bae, Sangmin, "Idiosyncratic voting in the UNGA death penalty moratorium resolutions" (2021). Political Science Faculty Publications. 15.