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Interpretive Convergence at the European Court of Human Rights: Strength in numbers or a cause for concern?

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Edinburgh Law School


Tue 25 January 2022

The Global Justice Academy and the Edinburgh Centre for Global and International Law present

Interpretive Convergence at the European Court of Human Rights: Strength in numbers or a cause for concern?

Dr Conall Mallory, Newcastle University

About the seminar

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights have demonstrated a tremendous capacity for agreement with one another. Many of their judgments are unanimous and only rarely do more than a handful of judges dissent from the majority. This interpretive convergence has potentially wide-ranging implications on the authority of the court, the cohesion of Convention rights and the credibility of the judges. Drawing on the findings of an extensive quantitative data analysis of Grand Chamber judgments between 1998 and 2020, this paper explores the implications of judicial agreement on human rights adjudication.

About the speaker

Dr Mallory joined Newcastle University in September 2017. Within the School he teaches across a series of undergraduate modules including Public Law, Human Rights Law and Judges and Judging. At postgraduate level he also lecture both International Human Rights and Global Security Law. Prior to joining Newcastle Law School he spent five years at Northumbria University where Ihe largely taught Equity and Trusts.

Dr Mallory's research interests lie in the fields of human rights, public law and international law. One strand of his research explores the extraterritorial application of human rights law. He has published on the application of human rights to foreign conflicts and the obligations states hold towards their nationals facing the death penalty abroad. In 2020, his monograph ‘Human Rights Imperialists: The Extraterritorial Application of the European Convention on Human Rights’ was published with Hart. A second strand to his research concerns the ability for individuals to gain accountability for human rights violations. On this subject he has published on the Northern Irish troubles, the Iraq War and the conflict in Ukraine. A third strand of his research looks at state representations, arguments and diplomacy concerning human rights. This research has, to date, focused on arguments made by states before the European Court of Human Rights and, separately, the representations made by both the EU and the United Kingdom before UN Human Rights treaty bodies. He has blogged about this research for The Conversation.

His current research focuses on the relationship between the state and its nationals in distress abroad. He has worked with both the NGO Reprieve and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions on this issue.


This event is free and open to all but registration is required (link below).

Image credit: Image credit: Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

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