Workshop: ‘Heads and Tails’ – Admissibility and Remedies at the ECHR

How recent changes in ECHR rules and processes affect the ECHR system

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From 15-16 June 2023 the international academic workshop 'Heads and Tails': Admissibility and Remedies at the European Court of Human Rights will take place at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, organised by Utrecht University (Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice; Netherlands Institute of Human Rights - SIM) and Oslo University  (Institute of Private Law). The organisers are issuing a call for abstracts (see link below). 


In recent years, much attention has been given to the position and effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights. With the aim of helping the Court deal with its heavy case-load, the ‘Interlaken process’ and the entry into force of Protocol 15 ECHR have brought about important changes in the formal rules on access to the Court as well as the Court’s working processes.

Although these developments have been commented upon by scholars, their contributions often concern just one or a few particular aspects of the wider phenomena of admissibility and remedies. This makes it difficult to see the overall picture and discuss how the various developments regarding the ‘head’ and ‘tail’ of cases interact, from admissibility to striking off-decisions and remedies, or what their overall impact is on the ECHR system.

How do these developments relate to the debate on whether the Court should offer individual or general justice, and whether its primary role should be to offer redress to individual justice or rather (or also) to address systemic violations?

This workshop brings together a number of expert researchers working on the ECHR system, from different perspectives, and using different methods. The invitation to them is to address particular developments and changes in the Court’s approach to admissibility, strike-off decisions and remedies and critically review them in the broader light of the objectives and nature of the ECHR system. The workshop is set up to foster dialogue and discussion and to allow for the various developments to be compared and contrasted, so as to allow for a bigger picture to arise.

The workshop: prospective sessions

Prospective sessions include the following topics:

  • Session 1 – Entry Points: developments in admissibility criteria: Protocol 15, working methods of the Court
  • Session 2 – Along the Way: developments in ‘striking off’ decisions: friendly settlements and unilateral
  • Session 3 – The End of the Road (I): Developments in individual remedies (just satisfaction, reopening)
  • Session 4 – The End of the Road (II): Developments in general/structural measures (pilot judgments, general remedies, role played by NGOs/NHRIs)
  • Session 5 – Which Road to Travel? Which role(s) for the Court (individual versus structural justice, implementation problems) – (final general discussion with two very short kick-offs)

We invite abstracts of maximum 350 words together with a cover letter by February 15, 2023:

Call for abstracts and preliminary outline of the workshop
Start date and time
End date and time
Utrecht University