Human Rights credibility and the dialectics of trust and distrust

Both trust and distrust fulfil relevant functions for a system of governance respectful of human rights. Based on examples from Human Rights practice the paper will endeavour to confront aspects of democratic governance requiring trust to those benefitting from distrust. Credible implementation of Human Rights contributes to foster trust. The functioning of public institutions depends on being trusted by the citizenry. Democratic representation may be perceived as manifestation of trust. On the other hand, Human Rights emerged from distrust of human beings opposing their inalienable rights to the arbitrariness of power. Continued vigilance (i.e. distrust) practised in elections and by bringing cases to Court is essential, while the credibility of Human Rights depends on the respect of a trustworthy judiciary. Vigilant distrust towards persons may balance considered trust towards institutions.