PhD Midway Evaluation for Nino Tsereteli

PhD candidate Nino Tsereteli presents the progression of her doctoral thesis "Legitimacy of Pilot Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights".  Tsereteli's research is connected to the MultiRights Project.

  • Commentator: Andre Nollkaemper, Professor of Public International Law and Vice-Dean for Research at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam.
  • Supervisor: Geir Ulfstein.



The title of the PhD research project is "Legitimacy of Pilot Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights".  The analysis of this judicial innovation, named as "the most creative tool the Court has developed in its first 50 years," is focused on the Court's case-law from 2004, when the groundbreaking Broniowski judgment was adopted, up to now.  It is considered in the context of ongoing reform of the Court (including Interlaken, Izmir and Brighton conferences), as a part of efforts to handle an increasing caseload of repetitive applications emerging from systemic problems in domestic legal orders. Implications of adopting pilot judgments for the development of the Court's remedial powers and for its inter-relation with national authorities and the Committee of Ministers will be explored, along with consequences for individual applicants.

The primary research question is whether the adoption of pilot judgments by the European Court of Human Rights amounts to a legitimate exercise of authority. By answering this question, the PhD candidate will respond to some of the claims of legitimacy deficit raised by some of the governments, judges and commentators in connection with the Court's adoption of pilot judgments. The thesis will be a contribution to the normative dimension of discussions on legitimacy of international courts, suggesting the qualities that make the Court's exercise of authority justifiable, independently of subjective beliefs of various stakeholders.

At this stage of research, a number of qualities relevant for assessing legitimacy have been identified and analyzed separately and in relation to one another, including legal justifiability, procedural adequacy and effectiveness. Relevant case-law of the Court and prospects of its further development have been examined in the light of this legitimacy framework. Some of the preliminary conclusions of this examination will be presented at the mid-evaluation.

Published Sep. 3, 2013 9:08 AM