Lunch seminar with Martin Lolle Christensen

The Use of External Judicial Decisions Among Regional Human Rights Courts.


Three Regional Human Rights Courts are currently active on three continents. The Inter-American and European Courts of Human Rights are already well-established within their regional frameworks, whereas the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Right only started issuing judgments in this last decade. Despite their differences, all three courts are now engaged in a continuous development of their case law, to fulfill their task of protecting human rights. The question arises as to what extent these courts refer to each other as part of their judicial reasoning, and whether external judicial decisions become internalized over time or remain an appeal to external authorities.

The use of external decisions in the case law of these courts is an example of judicial cross-fertilization. There are both legal mechanisms that facilitate this practice, and contextual factors that shape the development of the courts. This project unravels the factors driving the use of external judicial decisions among these regional courts, and the role that this practice has in the development of their jurisprudence. Thus, the project assesses not only the semantic authority of specific actors in the development of international law, but also the institutional contexts that surround these courts. The research highlights the interface between the internal structures of the regional systems and the external international legal sphere.

The presentation will focus on my theoretical considerations on the practice of judicial borrowing, as well as share some of the empirical results on the developments in the judgments of the three regional human rights courts.

All interested are welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary.

Feel free to bring your own lunch bag.