Ph.d.-emner – Københavns Universitet

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Til toppenThe impact of international courts

iCourts is looking for doctoral research projects that examines how international courts impact on law, politics or society. While much has been written on the making of the world of international courts, we are interested in the converse question of how international courts are influencing the world. We therefore encourage projects that examine the impact of international courts or a single international court on law, politics or society. With regard to law, this could take the form of a project exploring the impact of an international court on specific legal subject areas such as international human rights law, international commercial law or international criminal law, nationally, regionally or internationally. With regard to politics, this could be a study of how international courts change political ideas and preferences in specific subject-areas, nationally, regionally or internationally. And with regard to society, we envisage studies that explore how international may have a transformative impact on society or societies by developing new rights, duties and communities at national, regional and international levels. We generally encourage projects that use interdisciplinary methods and engage with empirical research.

Contact: Mikael Rask Madsen at

Til toppenThe role of the European Court of Human Rights in international law – a big data approach

The European Court of Human Rights interacts with other international institutions through the exchange of legal sources. iCourts seeks PhD students who wish to do research on this interaction between the ECtHR and international human rights law more generally, by using contemporary empirical and computational approaches. Such a product could include an analysis of how the ECtHR use other Human Rights Treaties, such as the ICCPR, ICESCR and CEDAW in its case law, or otherwise and could also include other relevant areas of International Law, such as International Humanitarian Law, international refugee law etc. The focus should not be solely on treaty texts, but also, and importantly, include a study of the use of reports, decisions and judgments from other International Organizations, and Courts. By relying on existing databases and utilizing technologies such as for example Natural Language processing and machine learning, the project could aim at finding out how, when and under what conditions, these sources of international law has contributed to the development of specific areas of the ECtHR jurisprudence. Theoretically, iCourts would be favor a study which convincingly addresses the research question in terms of whether the ECtHR is becoming part of a trans-institutional and/or trans-regional, field of law and governance that allows for both regional diversity and harmonization between institutions.

Contact: Henrik Palmer Olsen at