UCL Uncovering Politics

The Politics of the European Court of Human Rights

Episode Summary

This week we’re looking at the European Court of Human Rights. What is it? Does it provide adequate justice to victims? And what should we make of the ongoing debates in the UK about its role?

Episode Notes

If you managed to catch our episode last week, you’ll know that we were talking about the European Court of Justice. This week we are looking at another international court –  the European Court of Human Rights. 

This court has long been contentious in some circles in the UK. The Conservative Party’s election manifesto in 2015 pledged to ‘break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK’. In the last year, the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has repeatedly expressed her view that the UK should leave the Court’s jurisdiction.

So what should we make of these arguments? What is the European Court of Human Rights, how does it function, and what does it do?

Joining us to discuss these questions is Dr Veronika Fikfak, Associate Professor in International Law here in the UCL Department of Political Science. Veronika leads an ongoing research project called Human Rights Nudge. She also serves as a judge ad hoc at the European Court of Human Rights and has recently published an article examining the Court’s practices in relation to settling cases before they reach a formal court hearing.


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