Not All Nations at All Times: How States Imitate Each Other’s Behavior Towards Non-Compliance with International Law Norms: An ABM proposal
iCourts Working Paper 318; Proceedings of the AMPM-Workshop@JURIX2022
13 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2023
Date Written: February 16, 2023
In international law studies on compliance in general and compliance with court judgments, there is an assumption of states being compliant by default, and compliance being understood in terms of isolated acts of individual states. Empirical research on compliance with European Court of Human Rights judgments has questioned the first theoretical assumption, and has produced insights into the compliance dynamics within the Council of Europe. One such insight shows an initial “conditional generosity” of the European Human Rights system towards non-compliers which did not impede (or even facilitated) a gradual development of better compliance rates among the states. However, even empirical research often leaves the second theoretical assumption untouched.
In the present contribution, we report on a model of the 47 (now 46) member states of the Council of Europe as a dynamic network of unitary actors and explore with a threshold model how the norm of compliance-with-ECtHR-judgements moves within the network, and how states associate and disassociate from one another in the course of establishing and spreading a norm. With the model, we aim to contribute to the discussion around these theoretical assumptions and empirical findings by showing that (a) rather than strictly favoring compliance under all conditions, the network of states tends towards non-compliance often, (b) the behavior of compliance is not and cannot be seen as a series of isolated actions by individual states, and that (c) compliance rates are locked in relatively quickly and subsequently do not change much over time.
Keywords: Compliance, International Law, European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe
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