ERC Human Rights Nudge / Redesigning the Architecture of Human Rights Remedies

The project investigates how states react to and enforce decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. We are studying when human rights judgments help states address long-term problems and adopt far reaching solutions.

Human Rights Nudge building

The project looks at the impact of specific remedies - i.e. monetary compensation, individual measures that address the situation for the individual applicant and general measures which seek to prevent future violations - on states’ compliance practices and the internalisation of human rights into their domestic legal systems. The project aims to expose the dynamics of the (non)compliant state and the efficacy of different types of remedies in changing the behaviour of human rights violators. We investigate both what the Court expects of states and how states respond to its judgments. In this respect we also focus on the role of the Committee of Ministers, the supervisory body of the Council of Europe and the increasing participation of several other international and domestic actors.


To uncover the mechanism behind states’ compliance the project adopts a mixed-methods approach. Our main objectives are to quantitatively and qualitatively investigate when the current remedy architecture successfully nudges, cajoles, and encourages states to comply with judgments of the ECtHR and when it leads them to change their behaviour through norm and practice internalisation.

We also seek to identify and test a new choice architecture where new remedies can be used to deter state behaviour which violates human rights. The potential results of this study can importantly contribute to the solution of one of the most challenging problems plaguing the current European context and contribute to the strengthening of our human rights institutions.


15 November 2022

  • Dissemination: Aysel Küçüksu gave an interview to Democracy Reporting International providing input for their report about Danish elections and the Rule of Law. Aysel spoke about her research on Denmark's compliance with ECtHR judgments, also addressing specific areas like migration. You can read her thoughts here.

2-3 November 2022

  • Workshop: Veronika Fikfak gave a talk at the workshop celebrating 20 years of the UK's Human Rights Act. The programme is here. Her intervention will be published shortly on the UK Constitutional Law Association's blog.

7-8 October 2022

  • Workshop: Ula Kos participated at the ECPR Joint Global Politics of Law & Courts Workshop in Berlin.

3-4 October 2022

  • Conference: The NUDGE team presented at the iCourts 3.0 conference at the Royal Danish Academy. Veronika gave the keynote 'Automating Human Rights Adjudication - What Future for Human Rights', whilst Aysel Küçüksu and Ula Kos presented their paper 'Adding Nuance to Quantitative ECtHR Compliance Data through Qualitative Empirics: Implementation Networks and the Role of Civil Society Actors'.

14 September 2022

  • Conference: Katharina Luckner presented a paper on using ABM for modelling compliance at the ESSA Milan Conference.

8-9 September 2022

  • Workshop: Veronika Fikfak and Lora Izvorova gave talks at the Birmingham workshop on the Value(s) of the ECtHR. They spoke about their work on dignity in the ECtHR case law and in member states.

1-3 September 2022

  • Conferences: September was a busy month for all of us on NUDGE. We presented at the International Empirical Legal Studies Conference in Amsterdam. The programme is here. In more detail:
    • Aysel Küçüksu and Ula Kos presented their paper 'Adding Nuance to Quantitative ECtHR Compliance Data through Qualitative Empirics: Implementation Networks and the Role of Civil Society Actors'.
    • Katharina Luckner presented ‘Beyond Courts: Does (information on) Strategic Litigation Affect Climate Change Policy Attitudes?’
    • Veronika Fikfak presented her paper on 'The Promises and Perils of ECHR Hudoc databases’.

    • In addition, Veronika also co-organised a workshop 'Connecting social practices to legal outcomes' (as part of the ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences). 

 1 September 2022

  • A new member has joined our team: Thorbjørn Waal Lundsgaard who will undertake his PhD at Copenhagen University as part of the NUDGE project. Thorbjørn will focus on Nordic countries and on identifying the structures and processes that facilitate compliance and implementation of human rights decisions. Check out our 'Team page' for more information about Thorbjørn.

21 June 2022

  • Conference: We have been invited to present our work at the European Implementation Network Conference on Systemic Non-Implementation of ECtHR judgments in Strasbourg this week. Aysel Küçüksu and Ula Kos will be talking about our work on how NGOs and national human rights institutes play a crucial role in facilitating compliance. The programme of the event is attached. For how your NGO can help, please see our contribution here.

24 May 2022

  • Workshop: We organised a panel as part of SocSimFest to discuss the potential application of agent based modelling in international law. The programme is attached. A paper on the uses of ABM in international law will follow shortly.

13 April 2022

  • Symposium: Our Symposium on Bias in International Law is now openly available in the German Law Journal. You can read the introduction, along with great articles from Moshe Hirsch, Benedikt Pirker and Izabela Skoczen, Jonathan Kolieb, Runar Lie, Evangelina Nissoti, Eva van der Zee, and Ezgi Yildiz and Umut Yüksel.

18 March 2022

  • Workshop:  We are organising a workshop on New Approaches to Compliance at iCourts, University of Copenhagen, with the help of the Carlsberg Foundation and the ERC.

February 2022

  • Collaboration: We are part of a new network entitled BRAIN, which stands for Behavioural Research Approaches in International Law Network. BRAIN brings together academics and practitioners applying behavioural approaches to international law. Our aim is tobecome a resource of support for scholars as well as a focal point for policy makers interested in this research. BRAIN's website is here.

February 2022

  • Publication: Our Symposium on Bias in International Law is coming out in the German Law Journal. We look forward to presenting it more thoroughly in February. You can read the introduction co-authored by Veronika Fikfak, Daniel Peat and Eva van der Zee here.

January 2022

  • Collaboration: We are collaborating with Compliance Politics and International Investment Disputes' project, based at Pluricourts, University of Oslo and funded by the Research Council of Norway. Read more about the project here.

Call for papers - deadline 7 January 2022

  • Conference: Veronika Fikfak, together with Mikołaj Barczentewicz, are organising a new stream at this year's UK SLSA called Uncovering Silent Voices with socio-legal approaches. The conference will be held at York University in April. The call for papers can be found here, the deadline is 7 January 2022.

8 December 2021

  • Conference: Katharina Luckner spoke at the JURIX conference workshop on agent-based modelling about how ABM could be used in international law to map states' compliance practices.

1, 6 and 21 December 2021

  • Events: Veronika Fikfak spoke at the Brunel University (1 December), Hebrew University (6 December) and American-Slovenian Education Foundation (21 December) to present her latest research regarding how women judges approach the setting of damages in human rights cases and how their view differs from that of their male counterparts.

19 November 2021

  • Conference: Veronika Fikfak spoke at the World Slovenian Congress in Ljubljana on human rights implications of automated decision-making. The program is here.

11 and 12 November 2021

  • Conference: Veronika Fikfak co-chaired the American Society of International Law Research Forum. The program is here.

27 October 2021

15 October 2021

23 September 2021

  • Workshop: Katharina Luckner will speak about applying agent based modelling to compliance in human rights at the ESIL IG Group on Social Sciences and International Law Workshop on Sustainable Development and the Potentials of Using Behavioural Insights. The programme and registration link is here.

9 September 2021

  • Conference: Veronika Fikfak spoke at the ESIL Annual Conference in Stockholm on Changing Local Implementation of international law. She presented initial results of the HRNUDGE project and discussed the relevance of networks for implementation of human rights norms. A video of the presentation will be available in due course.​

8 September 2021

  • Conference: Veronika Fikfak co-organized a pre-conference workshop of the ESIL Interest Group in Social Sciences and International Law on the Promises and Perils of Social Sciences in International Law.  The link to the programme is here.

  • Workshop: Veronika Fikfak, together with the other co-convenors of the ESIL Interest Group on International Courts and Tribunals, organised a workshop on The Influence, Legacy and Future of the European Court of Human Rights in the International Legal Order. The link to the programme is here.​​

13 May 2021

  • Event: Veronika Fikfak and Ula Kos presented the results of their recently completed country report - Compliance with ECtHR Judgments in Slovenia at University of Ljubljana Law School, Slovenia, organised by Saša Zagorc, with commentary from Ciril Ribičič, former Constitutional Court Judge and Robert Golobinek, Ministry of Justice. The recently published report can be accessed here in English.

30 April 2021

22-23 April 2021

  • Workshop: As part of Human Rights Nudge project, Veronika Fikfak organised a workshop (with Daniel Peat, Leiden and Eva van der Zee, Hamburg) on Behavioural Approaches to International Law. This was an inaugural event of the ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law, which was co-founded by Veronika, Daniel and Eva. The link to the programme is here. Publications of the papers presented will follow in due course and will be advertised on this website. Papers will be available on open access.

10 March 2021

  • Event: Veronika Fikfak and Ula Kos presented the results of their recently completed country report - Compliance with ECtHR Judgments in Slovenia at Nova University in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The online recording of the presentation is now available here, with commentary from Professors David KosarJernej Letnar Černič and Saša Zagorc. The recently published report can also be accessed here in English.

21 January 2021

  • Event: Veronika Fikfak spoke at a Round Table organised by the European Bars of European Lawyers (CCBE) on National Enforcement of Monetary Awards of Just Satisfaction and commented on CCBE Proposals for reform of the ECHR machinery. More info here.

3 December 2020

  • Event: Veronika Fikfak spoke at the Diplomatic Academy of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Slovenian compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights.


On compliance 

Country compliance reports

On behavioural approaches 

  • Veronika Fikfak, Daniel Peat, and Eva van der Zee. 'Bias in International Law. German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming Symposium. ​

The Symposium includes contributions from: 

    • Moshe Hirsch. 'Social Cognitive Approach to Discrimination in International Trade Law.' German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming.
    • Benedikt Pirker and Izabela Skoczen. 'Is ordinary meaning a moral concept? An experimental investigation in international legal interpretation'. German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming. ​
    • Runar Hilleren Lie. 'A self-constituting society of law? A computational study of ISDS actors’ changing behaviour, (in)voluntary convergence and its impact on international investment lawmaking'. German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming. ​
    • Jonathan Kolieb. 'Impact of Labelling and Allegations of War-Crimes Violations on Consumer Buying Behaviour: A Series of Interdisciplinary Behavioural Experiments on Consumer Choice and International Humanitarian Law.' German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming.
    • Evangelia Nissioti. 'It Takes Three to Tango: A Behavioral Analysis of the Use of a Mediator in International Disputes.' German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming. ​
    • Eva van der Zee. 'Behavioural analysis of environmental impact assessments.' German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming. ​
    • Ezgi Yildiz and Umut Yüksel. 'On limits of Behavioural analysis in International Law'. German Law Journal 2022, forthcoming. 
  • Daniel Peat, Veronika Fikfak, and Eva van der Zee. 'Behavioural Compliance Theory.' Journal of International Dispute Settlement 2022, forthcoming Symposium.

​The Symposium includes contributions from: 

​The Symposium includes contributions from: 

​The Symposium includes contributions from: 

    • Daniel Peat. 'Rewarding Compliance'. Völkerrechtsblog, 8 June 2021.
    • Silvia Steininger. 'Beyond Shaming'. Völkerrechtsblog, 9 June 2021.
    • Luis F. Viveros-Montoya. 'Reparation and Judicial Discretion.' Völkerrechtsblog, 9 June 2021.
    • Matej Avbelj. 'Rewarding in EU Law.' Völkerrechtsblog, 10 June 2021.
    • Cristiane Lucena Carneiro. 'Designing Rewards.' Völkerrechtsblog, 11 June 2021.
    • Veronika Fikfak, Anne van Aaken, Betül Simsek. 'On Rewarding in International Law: A Conversation with Anne van Aaken and Betül Simsek', Völkerrechtsblog, 11 June 2021. 

On remedies

​On automated decision-making 

On interaction of domestic and international 

On Behavioural approaches to International Law

  • Eva van der Zee, Veronika Fikfak, and Daniel Peat. 'Introduction to the Symposium on the Limitations of the Behavioural Turn in International Law.' American Journal of International Law Unbound, 21 July 2021,

  • Veronika Fikfak, Anne van Aaken, Betül Simsek. 'On Rewarding in International Law: A Conversation with Anne van Aaken and Betül Simsek', Völkerrechtsblog, 11 June 2021.

  • Veronika Fikfak, ​Justine Batura, and Christian Pogies. 'From Sticks to Carrots?: An Introduction to the Symposium on Rewarding in International Law.' Völkerrechtsblog, 7 June 2021, doi: 10.17176/20210607-123537-0.

On the European Court of Human Rights

  • Veronika Fikfak. 'Against Settlement in the European Court of Human Rights'. International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming in 2022.

  • Veronika Fikfak. 'Compliance and Compensation: Money as a currency of human rights.' in Rachel Murray and Debra Long, Handbook on Implementation of Human Rights Law. (Edward Elgar, 2022).

  • Veronika Fikfak. 'Structural Remedies: Human Rights Law.' Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law, 2021.

  • Veronika Fikfak. 'What Future for Human Rights? Decision-making by Algorithm'. Strasbourg Observers, 19 May 2021.

  • Aysel Küçüksu. 'In the Aftermath of a Judgment: Why Human Rights Organisations Should Harness the Potential of Rule 9'. Strasbourg Observers, 3 March 2021.

  • Veronika Fikfak and Ula Kos. 'Slovenia - An Exemplary Complier With Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights?' iCourts Working Papers Series no. 249.

  • Veronika Fikfak and Ula Kos. 'Izvrševanje in implementacija sodb Evropskega sodišča za človekove pravice: Slovenija kot vzorna država?' (2021) 40(8) Pravna Praksa, II-XI (in Slovenian), English translation at:
  • Veronika Fikfak. 'Non-pecuniary damages before the European Court of Human Rights: Forget the victim; it’s all about the state.' (2020) Vol 33. Leiden Journal of International Law, 1-34.

  • Veronika Fikfak. ‘Damages for Human Rights Violations before the European Court of Human Rights’ (2019) EHRAC blog (also translated to Russian).

  • Veronika Fikfak. ‘Changing State Behaviour: Damages before the European Court of Human Rights’. (2018) 29/4 European Journal of International Law, pages 1091-1125.

  • Veronika Fikfak. ‘Protecting Human Rights in Austerity Claims in the UK.’ (2016) 8 Hague Journal on the Rule of Law,  pages 205-226.

  • Jaka Kukavica and Veronika Fikfak. ‘Strasbourg’s U-Turn on Independence as Part of an Effective Investigation under Article 2.’ (2015) 74/3 Cambridge Law Journal, pages 415-419. 

  • Veronika Fikfak. ‘English Courts and the ‘internalisation’ of the European Convention on Human Rights – Between Theory and Practice.’ (2013-2014) 5 The UK Supreme Court Yearbook, pages 183-214.


  • New York University
  • Institute of Law and Economics Hamburg






Internal researchers

Name Title Image
Fikfak, Veronika Associate Professor Billede af Fikfak, Veronika
Kos, Ula Aleksandra PhD Fellow Billede af Kos, Ula Aleksandra
Kucuksu, Aysel Eybil Postdoc Billede af Kucuksu, Aysel Eybil
Luckner, Katharina Research Assistant Billede af Luckner, Katharina
Lundsgaard, Thorbjørn Waal PhD Fellow Billede af Lundsgaard, Thorbjørn Waal

External researchers

Affiliated Researchers

  • Barcza-Szabó, Zita – Research Assistant, Central European University
  • Bekisz, Hubert - PhD Researcher, European University Institute
  • da Luz Scherf, Erick – Research Assistant, University of Stavanger
  • Dahler-Larsen, Klara – Master’s Student, University of Copenhagen
  • Kurban, Dilek – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, European University Institute
  • Peat, Daniel - Assistant Professor, Leiden University
  • Pirker, Benedikt - Senior Lecturer, University of Fribourg
  • Skoczeń, Izabela - Senior Lecturer,  Jagiellonian University

Past members

  • Boudra, Sabrina - research assistant on 'What Price for Human Rights' Project, now at Prisoners' Advice Service, UK
  • Brekke, Erlend - masters student on GDPR and the Brussels Effect, now legal counsel at Contractbook, Denmark
  • Pedersen, Kamille - masters student on right to privacy in digital sphere, now at Danish Tax Authority, Denmark
  • Pirnovar, Tina - masters student on Human Rights Nudge Project, now judicial clerk in Slovenia
  • Podržaj, Peter - research assistant on Human Rights Nudge Project
  • Robinson, Dora - PhD Student on Human Rights Nudge Project, at Cambridge University, UK
  • Szabo, Donata - research assistant on 'What Price for Human Rights' Project, now at GamblingCompliance UK
  • Žnidar, Nina - research assistant on Human Rights Nudge Project, now at law firm in Slovenia


European Research Council

ERC Human Rights Nudge has received a five year funding from the European Research Council

A nudge in the rights direction? Redesigning the architecture of human rights remedies
(Application number: 803981)

Period: March 2019 – February 2024


Veronika FikfakPI Professor
Veronika Fikfak

South Campus, 
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 35 32 63 90