The dynamics of domestic human rights implementation: lessons from qualitative research in Europe

Donald, Alice ORCID logoORCID: and Speck, Anne-Katrin (2020) The dynamics of domestic human rights implementation: lessons from qualitative research in Europe. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 12 (1) . pp. 48-70. ISSN 1757-9619 [Article] (doi:10.1093/jhuman/huaa007)

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It is widely acknowledged that the implementation of international human rights judgments is conditioned by domestic factors; yet the means by which judgments exert—or fail to exert—influence on domestic actors and processes is less well understood. This article presents qualitative research undertaken in three European states between 2016 and 2018 to trace the path between selected judgments involving structural or systemic violations and subsequent action by both state and non-state actors. The rich account of the implementation process thereby constructed reveals, in some cases, a direct—and even immediate—causal path between a decision and actions leading to compliance and, in others, a more indirect or uncertain relationship. The article reveals the dynamic and iterative nature of the implementation process, which may at times stall and at other times accelerate and which may be punctuated by extraneous developments that cause the political space for implementation to widen or narrow. It proceeds to examine the strategies employed by actors who either advance and obstruct implementation, and concludes by advocating the formation of the broadest possible compliance ‘partnerships’ in each case, supported by well-functioning domestic structures to coordinate the state’s response.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 28213
Notes on copyright: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Human Rights Practice following peer review.
The version of record, Alice Donald, Anne-Katrin Speck, The Dynamics of Domestic Human Rights Implementation: Lessons from Qualitative Research in Europe, Journal of Human Rights Practice, Volume 12, Issue 1, February 2020, Pages 48–70, is available online at:
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Depositing User: Alice Donald
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 15:01
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:35

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