Measuring Violations of Human Rights: An Empirical Analysis of Awards in Respect of Non-Pecuniary Damage Under the European Convention on Human Rights

Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV)/Heidelberg Journal of International Law (HJIL) 76 (2016), 1-51

50 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 9 Jul 2016

See all articles by Szilvia Altwicker-Hamori

Szilvia Altwicker-Hamori

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, School of Health Professions, Centre for Health Sciences

Tilmann Altwicker

University of Zurich

Anne Peters

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Date Written: July 16, 2015

Abstract

This is the first study to examine the awards made by the European Court of Human Rights in respect of non-pecuniary damage from an empirical perspective. It uses a multiple regression analysis based on data (929 cases) drawn from the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Documentation (HUDOC) database. By legal analysis we identified three elements of the “equity principle” used by the Court for the calculation of awards made in respect of non-pecuniary damage (seriousness of the violation, applicant- and overall context-related factors), which we used in our regression analysis. Our empirical results show that there is a statistically significant association between the amount awarded in respect of non-pecuniary damage and the intensity of the violation, the existence of a separate opinion, the respondent state and the fact of whether the applicant is a legal or a natural person. Our study therefore contradicts the view voiced in the literature that awards made in respect of non-pecuniary damage under the ECHR are “unpredictable” and “inconsistent”.

Keywords: Empirical Legal Studies, European Convention on Human Rights, Non-Pecuniary Damage

JEL Classification: K33, C21

Suggested Citation

Altwicker-Hamori, Szilvia and Altwicker, Tilmann and Peters, Anne, Measuring Violations of Human Rights: An Empirical Analysis of Awards in Respect of Non-Pecuniary Damage Under the European Convention on Human Rights (July 16, 2015). Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV)/Heidelberg Journal of International Law (HJIL) 76 (2016), 1-51. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2631404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2631404

Szilvia Altwicker-Hamori

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, School of Health Professions, Centre for Health Sciences ( email )

Technikumstrasse 71
Winterthur, 8401
Switzerland

Tilmann Altwicker (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Seilergraben 49
Zürich, CH-8001
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivr.uzh.ch/en/institutsmitglieder/altwicker.html

Anne Peters

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.mpil.de

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