Denial or dutifulness: Dutch courts and decisions of international human rights courts

How, when and why do Dutch courts engage with decisions of international human rights courts, or not?
1 August 2023 until 1 August 2024
Project type

Decisions of international (human rights) courts are increasingly contested, also by national courts who are essential for ensuring compliance with such decisions. National courts challenge international courts and defer to domestic political pressures and local values and traditions. It is no surprise then that supreme and constitutional courts in Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the UK explicitly ruled that they are not bound to follow every decision of the European Court of Human Rights. In times of backlash, it is crucial to understand how, when and why national courts engage with international decisions. The Netherlands, where a high level of engagement is expected, serves as an ideal most-likely case to test seven potential explanations. The structured case law analysis and interviews with judges lead to an in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of engagement with international decisions. Insights contribute to a better functioning of the (inter)national legal order.


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