La Diplomatie Juridique – University of Copenhagen

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25 April 2012

La Diplomatie Juridique

Mikael Rask Madsen

What institutional and legal rationality made the institutionalization and autonomization of the the European Court of Human Rights possible? The article, based on articles already published in English and German, argues for the importance of understanding how the Strasbourg Court developed a unique understanding of the relationship between law and diplomacy, using the latter when confronted with high-political questions related to decolonization or high national politics. This particular understanding of the role of the institution—a sense of legal diplomacy—generally helped legitimate and empower the system vis-à-vis the national political and diplomatic interests during its formative period from 1959-79. And, it was precisely against this background that the Court in the late 1970s embarked upon developing a more legalistic and dynamic understanding of the European Convention.

Read more in Mikael Rask Madsen: “La Diplomatie Juridique” – Retour sur le resort principal de l’institutionnalisation de la CEDH et sa permanence” in Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez and Jean-Marc Sorel: “Les droits de l’homme ont-ils constitutionnalisé le monde?” (Bruylant 2011)