Direct Democracy and Minority Rights(2/2)

Project Details


"Human rights should never be put to the vote." So claim the LBGT rights advocates. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also sent a letter to the prime minister Lai of the Executive Yuan, asking “The Taiwanese government should not allow popular and in this case homophobic initiatives to override its obligations to protect basic rights under international law.”On the other hand, the leader of the "Love Referendum", Yu Xinyi, said: "The "referendum" is the highest manifestation of national sovereignty, and its validity ranks "higher than the Constitution."" However, the constitutional court stated that the legislative principle of the "Love Referendum" may not override the Interpretation 748.In the past, the six referendums during the "Birds referendum" period were not passed because of the high threshold. After the implementation of the new referendum law in 2018, the threshold was greatly reduced. The "Love Referendum" presented an unprecedented tension between direct democracy and minority human rights. In the future, the same tension will rise in numerous ballot measures, such as (repeal) death penalty, euthanasia, and even whipping. How to find the path, to maximize the values both direct democracy and minority rights and to minimize the contradiction of both institutes, has become an unavoidable historical challenge of this generation.The tension between direct democracy and minority rights does not begin today, nor is it unique to Taiwan. The concept of direct democracy recepts constant changes in different historical situations and cultural contexts in different countries. This project sets to re-examine the relationship of direct democracy and minority rights in Switzerland, the United States and Germany, Furthermore, drawing lessons from the experience of these countries, this project will make recommendations to reform the current Referendum Law.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/07/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • direct democracy
  • human rights
  • minority
  • populism
  • consensus democracy


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