Managing judicial innovation in the European Court of Human Rights

Fiona De Londras, Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Since its establishment, the European Court of Human Rights has developed into a constitutionalist actor within and beyond the continent of Europe; a development that is in no small part due to judicial innovations, such as evolutive interpretation. Such innovation has resulted in a tension between the Court and the contracting parties that may conceivably call into question states’ diffuse support for the Court. We argue that this tension is addressed by the Court by means of a nascent model of judicial self-restraint discernible from the Court’s docket management, its cognisance of non-legal factors in particularly contentious cases, and its use of consensus-based interpretation. While arguably necessary, such a model is not cost-free; rather, it may have implications for the quality of the Court’s decision-making and its standing in the eyes of other stakeholders, such as non-governmental organisations and complainants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-547
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
Issue number3
Early online date19 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • European Court of Human Rights
  • judicial self-restraint
  • judicial innovation
  • human rights
  • European consensus
  • admissibility


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