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Dr. Başak Çali

Senior Lecturer in Human Rights

Dr Basak Cali
  • Name: Dr. Başak Çali
  • Position: Senior Lecturer in Human Rights
  • Room: 3.08, 29/30 Tavistock Sq.
  • Telephone: 020 7679 4990
  • Fax: 020 7679 4969
  • Email:
  • Dr Çali is on leave during 2013/14.


Dr. Başak Çalı is the Director of the MA in Human Rights and Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at UCL's Department of Political Science. She is the co-founder and inaugural director of Judgment Watch, an international NGO dedicated to supporting, monitoring and promoting the implementation of human rights judgments.

Başak’s research focuses predominantly on international law and international institutions, with a special interest in international human rights law, its legitimacy and domestic effects. She has published on the interplay between international law and international relations, humanitarian intervention, the politics of human rights law-making, and the impact of international human rights law in domestic politics.

Dr Çalı is currently the lead principle investigator of a two-year research project on ‘Domestic Effects of International Human Rights Treaty Ratification in the GCC Countries’, the first human rights project of its kind funded by the Qatari National Research Fund. Other recent funded research includes principle investigator of a three-year ESRC-funded study of the legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights and the enforcement of human rights judgments (to see results and output from this project see the project website) and as an expert on a British Academy-funded project studying the United Nations Universal Periodic Review.

Dr. Çalı has extensive experience as an advisor, trainer and litigator in the field of international human rights law. She has worked with and advised governmental and non-governmental organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO, Interights, the Aire-Centre and the ESCR-Net.

Başak has appeared as a commentator on international human rights law on the BBC and TRT – Turkey’s public television. She has also written for Turkey's Radikal newspaper. She is currently litigating her own case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning women’s right to identity.

Başak is interested in doctoral applications that concern normative and sociological approaches to international law and human rights.

Main publications


  • Başak Çali, ed., International Law for International Relations, Oxford University Press, 2009. See the first chapter of this book here [External Link].
  • S. Meckled-Garcia and Başak Çali, eds., The Legalisation of Human Rights: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Human Rights and Human Rights Law, (Routledge, 2006). Read more about this book [External Link].

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Cali and Koch 'Foxes Guarding the Foxes? Peer Review of Human Rights Judgments  by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe' Human Rights Law Review (accepted and forthcoming, 2014)
  • Cali, Koch and Bruch, ' The Social Legitimacy of Human Rights Courts: A Grounded Interpretivist Theory of the Elite Accounts of the Legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights'  35 (3) Human Rights Quarterly, (2013). 
  • Cali and Bruch (2012) ‘Fortress Ireland? A cautious approach to the persuasive authority of the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights’ Irish Human Rights Law Review (forthcoming October 2012)
  • Çali, (2010) 'The Logics of Supranational Human Rights Litigation, Official Acknowledgment and Human Rights Reform: The Southeast Turkey cases before the European Court of Human Rights between 1996-2006' Law and Social Inquiry, 35: 311-337
  • Çali, (2009) 'On Interpretivism and International Law' European Journal of International Law, 20: 805-822.
  • Çali, (2008) 'The Purposes of the European Human Rights System: One or Many?' European Human Rights Law Review, 3: 299-306.
  • Rodley and Çali, (2007) 'Kosovo Revisited: Humanitarian Intervention on the Fault Lines of International Law' Human Rights Law Review  7: 275-297.
  • Çali, (2007) 'Balancing Human Rights: Methodological Problems with Weights, Scales and Proportions' Human Rights Quarterly 29:251-270.
  • Çali, (2006) On Legal Cosmopolitanism: Divergences between political theory and international law, Leiden Journal of International Law 19:.
  • Çali, (2004) 'Bargaining Transnationalism: The European Court of Human Rights' Finnish Yearbook of International Law Volume XV: 111-128

Book Chapters

  • Çalı (2013, forthcoming) The Legitimacy of Human Rights Treaty Bodies: An Indirect Instrumentalist Defense’ in Schaffer, Follesdal and Geir eds., The Legitimacy of International Human Rights Regimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
  • Cali (2013, forthcoming) ‘Enforcement Clauses of the OP-ICESCR’ in Langford ed., The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Commentary, Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press.
  • Çalı and Koch (2013, forthcoming) ‘International regime and national enforcement: Lessons Learnt from the Implementation of International Civil and Political Rights Judgments’ in Langford, Rodriguez and Rossi eds., Making it Stick: Compliance with Social Rights Judgments in Comparative Perspective Contents Conference
  • Çalı (2012) ‘Specialised Rules of Treaty Interpretation: Human Rights’ in Hollis ed., The Oxford Guide to Treaties, Oxford: Oxford University Press: 525-550. See more about this book [External Link]
  • Çali, (2010) 'From Bangladesh to Responsibility to Protect: The Legality and Implementation Criteria for Humanitarian Intervention' in Gilbert, Hampson and Sandoval eds., The Delivery of Human Rights: Essays in the Honour of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley London: Routledge: 228-44.
  • Çali, (2007) Between Legal Cosmopolitanism and a Society of States: The Limits of International Justice at the European Court of Human Rights' in Dembour and Kelly eds., Paths to International Justice: Social and Legal Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2007) pp. 111-133. Read more about this book [External Link]
  • Çali, (2007) 'Human Rights Discourse in Turkey: Domestic Human Rights NGOs' in Arat ed., Human Rights in Turkey: Policies and Prospects (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) 217-232.Received the American Library Association Choice Award of Outstanding Academic Titles 2007. Read more about this book [External Link]
  • Meckled-Garcia and Çali (2006), 'Lost in Translation: The Human Rights Ideal and International Human Rights Law' in The Legalisation of Human Rights: Multidisciplinary Perspectives: 11-31.
  • Çali and Ergun, (2005) 'Global Governance and Domestic Politics: Fragmented Visions', in Lederer and Muller ed., Criticising Global Governance (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005) 161-176. Read more about this book[External Link]

 Shorter Articles, Reports and Reviews


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