On the Road to Perfection: Enhancing Legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights

In this MultiRights Seminar Dr Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou will address the question of legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court).

Has the ECtHR lost its legitimacy? The answer to this question is perhaps ‘no’. If this was the case, the Contracting Parties would stop executing judgments of the Court; the applicants would stop bringing their complaints to the Court; and, finally, the Contracting Parties would denounce the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or Convention). Another option might be that the ECtHR would continue to exist without having any real impact on human rights standards in Europe and its judgments would lose much of their value. This has not yet happened.

International tribunals, including the ECtHR, face a substantial structural deficiency; they operate within systems that lack the coercive capacity to enforce their judgments. International courts thus depend, to a greater degree than domestic courts, on the legitimacy of their judgments as a basis upon which to encourage, and in effect coerce, compliance. The speaker will present the paper that analyses three different areas of the Court’s activities and how the changes in these areas can improve its legitimacy. There will be discussed a number of issues related to the reform of the Court, independence of its judges and argumentation of the Court.


The MultiRights seminars are organised by the MultiRights project on the multi-level human rights judiciary. They provide a forum for discussions for researchers from various backgrounds, including law, philosophy and political science. The seminars take place on a regular basis on Tuesdays and are open for all.


Tags: Human Rights
Published Mar. 11, 2015 10:39 AM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2016 5:06 PM