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Identities and Preferences: A Comparison Between the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Applicant Yildiz Ezgi
Number 168282
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Carr Center for Human Rights Policy John F. Kennedy School of Government
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Legal sciences

Keywords (7)

Inter-American Court of Human Rights ; International human rights norms; European Court of Human Rights ; Comparative case study ; Interdisciplinary IR/IL research program; International courts; Judicial behaviour

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les cours internationales font plus que jamais partie du système international et elles sont fréquemment sollicitées pour résoudre des disputes juridiques. Or, le rôle de ces cours s’étend au-delà de la résolution de différends et comprend la formulation de politiques qui ont un impact direct au niveau national et transnational. Il devient donc de plus en plus nécessaire d’étudier le fonctionnement interne de ces institutions, ce qui constitue l’objectif premier de ce projet.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Ce projet vise à étudier les cours internationales en tant qu’acteurs de politique publique. Il entend comprendre comment ces cours fonctionnent et prennent des décisions. Il examine si les cours internationales ont des préférences stratégiques quand elles rendent leurs arrêts et si tel est le cas, comment elles expriment ces préférences en termes juridiques. A travers une comparaison des pratiques de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et la Cour interaméricaine des droits de l’homme, ce projet étudie les similarités et les divergences entre ces deux cours s’agissant de la manière dont elles construisent et formulent leurs préférences et leurs politiques juridiques.

Ce projet aide ainsi à comprendre comment les cours internationales se conduisent et comment elles façonnent la loi et les normes par le biais de leurs politiques juridiques. Il éclaire les enjeux qui se cachent derrière les solutions « neutres » que ces cours apportent à de problèmes domestiques et internationaux d’une grande complexité.

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Ceci est un projet interdisciplinaire qui vise à apporter une compréhension plus profonde de la fonction des cours internationales et du rôle de ces cours dans la politique internationale. Cette recherche sera menée en employant des méthodes qualitatives telles que l’analyse comparative, l’analyse de contenu ainsi que des entretiens semi-structurés.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.09.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
A Court with Many Faces: Judicial Characters and Modes of Norm Development in the European Court of Human Rights
Yildiz Ezgi (2020), A Court with Many Faces: Judicial Characters and Modes of Norm Development in the European Court of Human Rights, in European Journal of International Law , 1(31), 73-99.
Extraterritoriality Reconsidered: Functional Boundaries as Repositories of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction
Yildiz Ezgi (2019), Extraterritoriality Reconsidered: Functional Boundaries as Repositories of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction, in Margolies Daniel S. et al. (ed.), Routledge, Oxon; New York , 215-227.
Enduring Practices in Changing Circumstances: A Comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
YildizEzgi, Enduring Practices in Changing Circumstances: A Comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, -.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference A Judicial Innovation? The ‘Right to Truth’ as an Emerging International Principle" 04.04.2019 San Francisco, CA, United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;
International Studies Association (ISA), Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Leading or Lagging? The Interplay between Multilateral Treaties and State Practice 27.03.2019 Toronto, Canada Yildiz Ezgi;
American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting Poster Understanding Judicial Strategies: The Case of the European Court of Human Rights 30.08.2018 Boston, MA , United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;
Network of Legal Empirical Scholars (NOLESLAW) First Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Courts as Transformative Venues: A Look into the European Court of Human Rights and the Inception of Positive Obligations 24.01.2018 Copenhagen, Denmark Yildiz Ezgi;
Visiting Scholars’ Seminar: New Research on Europe, Individual talk “The Rule of Law Promotion and the European Court of Human Rights,” 08.11.2017 Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge , United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;
Institute for Global Law and Policy Lunch Seminar Individual talk “Judicial Policies for Norm Development: The Case of the European Court of Human Rights,” 12.10.2017 Harvard Law School, Cambridge , United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;
American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference “And then the Court Created Procedural Obligations: A Look into the European Court of Human Rights” 31.08.2017 San Francisco , United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;
Law and Society Association (LSA) International Meeting, Mexico City, Mexico, 20-23 June 2017 Talk given at a conference “And then the Court Created Procedural Obligations: A Look into the European Court of Human Rights” 20.06.2017 Mexico City, Mexico Yildiz Ezgi;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference “Macro or Micro Lenses? Reading the Tales of Transformation: The Case of the Norm Against Torture,” 22.02.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Yildiz Ezgi;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) EJIL:Live Interview Dr Ezgi Yildiz EJIL:Live International 2020

Abstract

This project aims to shed light on the way international courts operate and develop norms from a micro perspective. It starts with the question of whether international courts have preferences when developing norms, and if so, how these preferences are formulated and legally articulated. To address this question, the research investigates how international courts strategically employ doctrines of interpretation to convey their institutional identities and preferences in legal terms by looking at the practices of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. More specifically, it traces how these two regional human rights courts employ various doctrines of interpretation - ranging from taking ‘the intention of the parties’ as basis (originalism), the semantics of the text (textualism) to ‘evolutive interpretation’ - when developing a wide-range of norms safeguarded under their constitutive treaties. Based on this comparative analysis, the project proposes and tests hypotheses exploring the link between courts’ identities, preferences, and the adoption of doctrines of interpretation. The aim is to show that legal practice is not an apolitical and automatic exercise as it is often viewed in International Law (IL) literature. In fact, the research advances that the courts formulate their preferences with respect to how a norm should develop, and then decide on the rules of interpretation to express these preferences in legal terms. This way, the norms develop incrementally (and often haphazardly) each time a case invoking this particular norm is reviewed, and not linearly as International Relations (IR) literature portrays. This research, therefore, provides an alternative way of looking at the practices of international courts and the nature of norm development enacted by legal practice. Its innovative findings contribute to both the theoretical and empirical foundations of IL and IR literatures, and interdisciplinary IR/IL research program.
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