UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Juggling Justice: Insights from the Strasbourg Bench

29 February 2024, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm

Prof. Dr. Alice Margaria

Juggling Justice: Insights from the Strasbourg Bench

This event is free.

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Masaryk room
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton street

As observed by former Judge Lemmens on the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, its adoption in 1951 sparked a transformative shift in international law, placing the individual in a central position at the international level. The right to individual petition remains a distinguishing feature of the ECHR system and – as acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights itself – its primary duty consists in deciding each application on a case-by-case basis with the purpose of providing individual relief to those affected. At the same time, the ECtHR operates within distinct institutional parameters, such as the principle of subsidiarity and European consensus, and for some states the question of withdrawing from the ECtHR has been a matter of active consideration. In practice, therefore, the ECtHR cannot but function as a pluralistic institution, addressing diverse stakeholders with often divergent concerns and interests. Drawing from ongoing data collection, this presentation delves into how ECtHR judges make sense of their manifold responsibilities and navigate the challenges arising from the Court’s distinctive institutional setup, with a focus on the space given to and/or left for the individual applicant.

Prof. Dr. Alice Margaria

Alice is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and co-director of the University Research Priority Program “Human Reproduction Reloaded” at the University of Zurich. Her research lies at the intersections of gender, family law and human rights. She is the principal investigator of the project “Who is the Court for? Bringing the Human (back) into Human Rights” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (with Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf). Alice’s latest monograph, The Construction of Fatherhood: The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, was published in 2019 by CUP and she is co-editor of Leading Works in Law and Anthropology (Routledge, forthcoming 2024) with L. Vetters.