The European Court of Human Rights Between Law and Politics

ISBN : 9780199686445

Jonas Christoffersen; Mikael Rask Madsen
288 Pages
156 x 233 mm
Pub date
Sep 2013
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The European Court of Human Rights between Law and Politics provides a comprehensive analysis of the origins and development of one of the most striking supranational judicial institutions. The book brings together leading scholars and practitioners to cast new light on the substantial jurisprudence and ongoing political reform of the Court. The broad analysis based on historical, legal, and social science perspectives provides fresh insights into the institutional crisis of the Court and the future of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The European Court of Human Rights is in many ways an unparalleled success. The Court embarked, during the 1970s, upon the development of a progressive and genuinely European jurisprudence. In the post-Cold War era, it went from being the guarantor of human rights solely in Western Europe to becoming increasingly involved in the transition to democracy and the rule of law in Eastern Europe. Now the protector of the human rights of some 800 million Europeans from 47 different countries, the European system is once again deeply challenged - this time by a massive case load and by the Member States' increased reluctance towards the Court. This book paves the way for a better understanding of the system and hence a better basis for choosing the direction of the next stage of the Court's life.


1. Introduction: The European Court of Human Rights between Law and Politics
2. The Birth of the European Convention on Human Rights-and the European Court of Human Rights
3. The Protracted Institutionalisation of the Strasbourg Court: From Legal Diplomacy to Integrationist Jurisprudence
4. Politics, Judicial Behaviour, and Institutional Design
5. Civil Society and the European Court of Human Rights
6. The European Court of Human Rights after 50 Years
7. The Reform of the Convention System: Institutional Restructuring and the (Geo-)Politics of Human Rights
8. Constitutional v. International? When Unified Reformatory Rationales Mismatch the Plural Paths of Legitimacy of ECHR Law
9. Diplomatic Intrusions, Dialogues, and Fragile Equilibria: The European Court as a Constitutional Actor of the European Union
10. Individual and Constitutional Justice: Can the Power Balance of Adjudication be Reversed?
11. Rethinking the European Court of Human Rights

About the author: 

Dr. jur. Jonas Christoffersen is Executive Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Denmark's National Human Rights Institution). He was previously Assistant Professor in Human Rights Law at the University of Copenhagen, a temporary judge at the High Court of Eastern Denmark, and a clerk at the Supreme Court of Denmark. He is also an advocate admitted to the Danish Bar and the High Courts of Denmark.; Mikael Rask Madsen is Professor of European Law and Integration at the University of Copenhagen and Director of iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts. He was formerly at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been a visitor at numerous universities, including University of Strasbourg, Oxford University, and University of California at Berkeley.

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