Civil Society and the European Court of Human Rights

21 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 18 Aug 2010

Date Written: 2010


In the last fifty years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) incrementally transformed human rights in Europe. The effects and role of states in this transformation is oft debated, problematizing the degree to which national sovereignty is unwillingly diminished or conversely the willingness of states to allow this evolution and expansion. Yet much less is known about the historical and present role of social activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in ECtHR litigation. I argue that the evolution of the Convention system was and continues to be critically linked to a dynamic interaction between civil society and the ECtHR. The legitimacy of this process remains a fine balance between societal inclusion and domestic government support.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, NGOs

Suggested Citation

Cichowski, Rachel, Civil Society and the European Court of Human Rights (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Rachel Cichowski (Contact Author)

University of Washington ( email )

Department of Political Science
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics