The European Court of Human Rights

Below is information on official data sources and four available research datasets on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Official sources

The ECtHR’s webpage provides a database called Hudoc. All the Court’s judgments and a large selection of decisions, items of information on communicated cases, consultative opinions, press releases, legal summaries and Commission decisions and reports are published in the Hudoc database.


Research Data

ECHR datasets

Erik Voeten has collected extensive information on judicial dissents, biographical characteristics of judges, and information on cases within the ECtHR. In his paper from 2007 “The Politics of International Judicial Appointments: Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights” he analyses variation in judicial activism in the European Court of Human Rights and in his paper from 2008 “The Impartiality of International Judges: Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights” he analyses international judges’ judicial behavior in the ECtHR. He uses data from all 7319 published judgments between 1969 and 2006 as reported in the Court’s electronic catalog, Hudoc, and includes all dissents by the ECtHR judges between 1955 and June 2006. The articles, codebook, dataset and replication data are available at Voeten’s webpage.


European Court of Human Rights Compliance Dataset

Sharanbir Grewal and Erik Voeten (2015) use their dataset on compliance with judgments in the ECtHR to analyze whether new democracies are more likely to follow through on binding commitments to international human rights institutions than established democracies. The dataset include over 1000 judgments issued between 1960 and 2006. Codebook and dataset are available at Voeten’s webpage.


Compliance with Human Rights Tribunals Dataset

Courtney Hillebrecht (2014) analyze under what circumstances states comply with the ECtHR’s rulings. To study this question, she analyses her hand coded dataset, Compliance with Human Rights Tribunals (CHRT) Dataset. The dataset seeks to provide new and nuanced data that reflects that states comply with human rights tribunals in part: they comply with some obligations and deny others. The dataset includes information on states’ compliance with obligations handed down by the ECtHR and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that ask states to change their human rights policies. The dataset and the codebook are available at Hillebrecht’s webpage.


International Courts as Agents of Legal Change: Evidence from LGBT Rights in Europe

Helfer and Voeten (2014) analyze whether international court judgements influence the behavior of all states subject to the court’s jurisdiction. They use the ECtHR rulings on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues to analyze their research question. They create a dataset matching these rulings with laws in all Council of Europe member states. They also collect data on LGBT policies unaffected by ECtHR to control for trends in national policies. They find that judgments against one country substantially increase the probability of national-level policy change across Europe. You can find the replication data at Voeten’s webpage.

Tags: Human Rights
Published Mar. 9, 2017 8:27 AM - Last modified Mar. 9, 2017 1:46 PM