Legality and Legitimacy of the Pilot Judgment Procedure at the European Court of Human Rights [PhD] (completed)

Tsereteli’s PhD project analyzes the Pilot Judgment Procedure, a judicial innovation introduced by the European Court of Human Rights, from the perspectives of legality and legitimacy.

About the project

The Pilot Judgment Procedure is a judicial innovation that has been developed through the Court’s case law during the last 8 years and represents one of the most vivid manifestations of recent expansion of the Court’s remedial powers.

Moving away from its initial restrictive approach in relation to remedies, the Court started indicating general measures in cases representative of broader systemic/structural or other problems at the domestic level.

The pilot judgment procedure has been subject to various criticisms taking into account that it was introduced in the Court’s practice in the absence of any explicit reference to such competence in the Convention and without any amendment thereto. Moreover, the pilot judgment procedure was not mentioned in the Rules of the Court until early 2011.

Various aspects of criticisms towards the pilot judgment procedure will be addressed throughout the thesis in the prism of legality and legitimacy.

Specific emphasis will be made on

  • the legal basis and scope of the Court’s remedial powers (ranging from indication of the type of applicable remedies to specifying their content) in the context of the pilot judgment procedure
  • any possible limits to the exercise of such powers, either in terms of law or in terms of policy (including any possible restrictions upon the expansion of the Court’s powers due to the principle of subsidiarity).

The inter-relation of the European Court with the respondent governments and the Committee of Ministers will be looked at as well as the impact of the application of the pilot judgment procedure upon the current and potential applicants.

In relation to each of these components, the case law of the International Court of Justice, UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Inter-American system will be looked at, in the comparative perspective.


The project is a part of the ERC project MultiRights - The Legitimacy of Multi-Level Human Rights Judiciary. It is financed by the Faculty of Law.

Supervisor is Geir Ulfstein.

Published May 29, 2012 3:36 PM - Last modified Apr. 1, 2016 1:57 PM