Talking to Strangers? How Regional Human Rights Courts Use Communication as a Legitimation Strategy vis-à-vis Defiant State Parties

How should regional human rights regimes deal with defiant state parties? In the context of the current backlash, both the European and Inter-American human rights regimes have developed several techniques to remain resilient. While high-profile instruments such as expulsions have gained increasing attention, more systematic but low-profile techniques such as judicial diplomacy have not yet been sufficiently explored. This paper investigates the strategic use of communication and outreach practices by the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. By analyzing crucial communicative tools such as social media, press releases, live streams, country visits, and special sessions, this paper highlights how, why, and when regional human rights courts use communication as a legitimation strategy vis-à-vis defiant state parties.