The European Court of Human Rights under scrutiny: explaining variation in non-compliance judgments

  • Diana PankeEmail author
Original Article


Since 1959, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) can issue judgments against member states of the Council of Europe that violate the European Convention on Human Rights. The number of non-compliance judgments of the Court varies considerably. Some states have been found to violate rules more than 2000 times, while the number of non-compliance judgments is in the single digits for others. Since we know a lot about (non-)compliance in the EU, but not much about the same phenomenon in other regional organizations, this article examines why some countries receive more ECHR judgments than others. Powerful countries, states with limited administrative capacities, and countries without active civil societies tend to have higher shares of ECHR non-compliance judgments. Moreover, the paper argues that under conditions of low legalization, autocratic countries are more likely to block cases from turning into ECHR judgments than countries with higher democracy scores.


European Court of Human Rights Council of Europe European Convention on Human Rights Non-compliance Enforcement theory Management approach 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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