Sub-project A.2

Systemic Deficiencies in the System of Protecting the Human Rights of Migrants: the Inter-American and the European Court of Human Rights in Comparison

Human rights courts such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) work to not only assess human rights violations ex post (after the fact) in specific, individual cases, but also to intervene, sometimes directly, in political and administrative processes. One reason for this recent development is the frequently systemic nature of human rights violations, that is, the fact that they originate from the same issues and concern a multitude of individuals over a longer period of time.
Against this backdrop, the present project examines the potential that comes with a more procedural approach to addressing systemic human rights violations, albeit with an eye to the risks associated with such approaches and the broader ideological underpinnings of ideas of good governance in a human rights context. It also investigates the ways in which the ECtHR and the IACtHR can be both strategically successful as well as legitimate in handling systemic deficits in light of concerns over backlash and a broader political shift to more critical and sometimes explicitly racist approaches to migration. Finally, we ask to what extent the insights gained can thus contribute to the broader critical debate on human rights in the recent theoretical literature.
Methodologically, the project takes a comparative law approach to a human rights issue, combining in addition a doctrinal with a broader theoretical approach, including insights from the political science literature on courts as strategic actors. In doing so, the project seeks to contribute to the discussion on the function of courts in human rights practice.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Michaela Hailbronner

Research Associate: Dr. Giulia Santomauro

University of Münster