Competition and Compliance : the European and Inter-American Human Rights Courts

Human Rights Seminar with Ph.D. candidate Øyvind Stiansen.

Why do political actors comply with judicial decisions they disagree with even when they are offered few apparent benefits for doing so and the immediate costs of defiance appear minimal?

One possible explanation is that political parties that expect to alternate between government and opposition value judicial review as a constraint on their opponents and are willing to comply with adverse decisions in order to sustain strong judicial review. While political competition has previously been found to predict the introduction of judicial review in domestic constitutions, little is known about the link between political competition and compliance. Stiansen presents novel evidence on the link between political competition and compliance with judgments from the European and Inter-American human rights courts. He finds robust support for the expectation that political competition is associated with compliance with judicial decisions.


The Human Rights Seminar is a forum to discuss ongoing work and recent publications for researchers working on human rights issues. The aim is to create a fora for exchanging ideas, generate discussions, and get feedback from other human rights scholars. The human rights seminars are linked to the human rights pillar at PluriCourts, but open to everyone that is interested. These seminars are a continuation of the MultiRights lunches.

Tags: Human Rights, Performance
Published Nov. 9, 2017 11:49 AM - Last modified July 29, 2018 9:36 PM