Explaining the Gap between Commitment and Compliance: International Human Rights Law in Israeli Courts

The leading models of state compliance with international human rights law (IHRL) distinguish between prescriptive status and actual compliance, and typically consider the state in a unitary manner. In this paper we develop a novel methodology for explaining with more nuance the gap between commitment and compliance within a single country case-study (Israel), focusing on the role of domestic courts. Having mapped every reference to IHRL treaties and institutions in all Israeli case-law since 1990, we conduct a qualitative content analysis of the ways the courts use IHRL in each case. This detailed, systematic analysis sheds new light on some of the techniques through which IHRL is complied with and breached in Israel, and in particular on the features of IHRL that facilitate the infringement of rights. By disaggregating among different courts and norms, as well as across time within the last 30 years, this methodology also allows us to pinpoint conditions favorable to compliance.

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.

Constitutional Crises: A Comparative and Empirical Account

In this paper, I offer a framework for identifying and analyzing constitutional crises. It suggests that there are two broad types of crises: one is a failure of the constitution to resolve particular conflicts while the other follows from an attack on the existing constitutional order. The paper also features findings from survey experiments conducted on the populations of twelve different countries, which seek to understand under which circumstances people support leaders who undermine the existing constitutional order. Ultimately, my goal is to not only clarify how and when crises occur, but also understand how they might be prevented.

Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights

General comments allow the United Nations (UN) treaty bodies to set standards for future human rights law and practice. As such, it is essential to understand other actors’ influence on the treaty bodies’ operations and outcomes. Based on case studies, the paper puts forward the argument that transnational actors not only play an indispensable role for agenda-setting, monitoring, and implementation of human rights, but also for their interpretation. For this aim, this paper introduces the concept of Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions, explains how these coalitions operate and evaluates their empirical and theoretical significance. Such a coalition typically includes individuals from the treaty bodies, civil society, and other international institutions. Operating beneath the surface of the UN human rights system’s formal actors, access rules, and processes, transnational lawmaking coalitions update our assumptions on which actors really make “rules for the world”.

Friendly Settlements before the European Court of Human Rights

Even though they represent almost 50% of the applications before the European Court of Human Rights, settlements of human rights violations escape scholars’ attention. Whilst victims are increasingly pressured into resolving their disputes amicably, their counsel are unable to advise them whether they will be better off accepting settlement offers than proceeding to litigation. The paper charts the practice of friendly settlements before the Court from 1980s to today, mapping a shift in approach from seeking bilateral solutions to using settlements as a case law management tool. The study of 10,500 cases reveals how the most frequent violators before the Court are allowed to settle most cases, how they ‘package’ claims together to resolve hundreds of applications within one case, how settlements are ripe even in torture/right to life situations, and how money is used as a currency to remedy all situations regardless of its suitability or efficiency in the long-term.

Explaining the Gap between Commitment and Compliance: International Human Rights Law in Israeli Courts

The leading models of state compliance with international human rights law (IHRL) distinguish between prescriptive status and actual compliance, and typically consider the state in a unitary manner. In this paper we develop a novel methodology for explaining with more nuance the gap between commitment and compliance within a single country case-study (Israel), focusing on the role of domestic courts. Having mapped every reference to IHRL treaties and institutions in all Israeli case-law since 1990, we conduct a qualitative content analysis of the ways the courts use IHRL in each case. This detailed, systematic analysis sheds new light on some of the techniques through which IHRL is complied with and breached in Israel, and in particular on the features of IHRL that facilitate the infringement of rights. By disaggregating among different courts and norms, as well as across time within the last 30 years, this methodology also allows us to pinpoint conditions favorable to compliance.