Tue, Feb 21, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Time to promote right to good government: activist

Staff Writer, with CNA

The deputy convener of the Presidential Office’s Human Rights Advisory Committee said it was time to promote people’s “right to good government” — the pursuit of which should be a top priority for this generation.

Chai Song-lin (柴松林), who was speaking on the development of human rights at a monthly meeting at the Presidential Office, said the right to good administration has become increasingly popular in the last decade.

However, people have only recently come to understand that the biggest obstacle to the development of human rights are governments — often those elected by the people themselves, he said.

Substandard administration by governments result in these noble ideals being buried in people’s hearts and remaining unenforced even if they are enshrined in law, said Chai, a prominent human rights activist and co-founder of the Consumers’ Foundation.

Chai praised the European Parliament for taking the initiative in promoting the people’s “right to good administration” when enacting the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU in 2000.

Under that charter, the right to good administration means that the people are entitled to impartial, fair and timely treatment by relevant government agencies whenever they face a problem requiring government action.

However, many of the world’s nderdeveloped countries are plagued by the collapse of constitutional systems, poor-quality legislation, superficial governance and parochialism, all of which run counter to the principle of good administration, Chai said.

Chai said the EU should be commended for regulating the government’s responsibility to govern effectively and called it an example that other countries should follow.

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