Document Type

Article

Abstract

The European Union has become a leading regional force in the progress towards a world free of state sanctioned judicial killing in the form of the death penalty. This article investigates how the EU has evolved its abolitionist position. It analyzes the development of the region’s internal policy beginning in the European Parliament, to the rejection of the punishment being mandated as a Treaty provision, which evolves into an integral component of the external human rights project. The EU has now formulated technical bilateral and multilateral initiatives to promote abolition worldwide. This is most clearly evidenced in the EU playing an important role in the 2007 United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and the strengthening of the resolution in 2008, 2010, and 2012. This article demonstrates that the EU’s contribution to the abolition of the death penalty is a recognizable success story of human rights, and it is one aspect of the regions’ policies that was rewarded in 2012 with the Nobel Peace Prize.