For decades, human rights have been treated as the business of international institutions like the European Court of Human Rights. Yet, the respect for human rights on the part of governments has been invariably weak. Our team aims to explore the future of compliance with human rights. The team will analyse why and how states interfere in individuals’ lives and then determine when and how they change their behaviour in relation to human rights. The project builds on insights from social sciencesbehavioural economics, and psychology, to come up with new solutions and incentives, which governments, communities and even individuals can employ in the future. Our main purpose is to establish how we can challenge the status quo and help states internalise human rights in the future. 


We aim to find new solutions and incentives for better human rights protection in Europe and beyond


Human Rights Nudge is an ERC-funded project that looks at past cases of human rights violations and studies when and why states changed their practice


We are a team of experts and researchers from various fields that are working together to understand state behaviour

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The Human Rights Nudge Project and its team is based at the University of Copenhagen, Centre of Excellence, iCourts 



Veronika Fikfak is a Senior Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg in 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

Katharina Luckner is based at the Institute of Law and Economics in Hamburg.


Human Rights Nudge team leader Veronika Fikfak was a visiting fellow at New York University from September 2019 to May 2020


The Human Rights Nudge Project builds on work done on a previous project 'What Price for Human Rights' at the University of Cambridge. 

Lora Izvorova and Dora Robinson are based at the Law Faculty in Cambridge.


The Human Rights Nudge Project is collaborating with Compliance Politics and International Investment Disputes project based at Pluricourts, University of Oslo 



Veronika Fikfak. 'Against Settlement in the European Court of Human Rights'. International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming in 2022. 

Aysel Küçüksu. 'Enforcing Rights Beyond Litigation: Mapping NGO Strategies in Monitoring ECtHR Judgment Implementation.' Human Rights Law Review, forthcoming in 2022.

Veronika Fikfak. 'Compliance and Compensation: Money as a currency of human rights.' in Rachel Murray and Debra Long, Handbook on Implementation of Human Rights Law. (Edward Elgar, 2022).


Daniel Peat, Veronika Fikfak, and Eva van der Zee. 'Behavioural Compliance Theory.'  Journal of International Dispute Settlement, forthcoming in 2022.

Veronika Fikfak. 'What Future for Human Rights? Decision-making by Algorithm'. Strasbourg Observers, 19 May 2021.

Veronika Fikfak. 'Non-pecuniary damages before the European Court of Human Rights: Forget the victim; it’s all about the state.' (2020) Vol 33. Leiden Journal of International Law, pp 335-369.

Veronika Fikfak. ‘Changing State Behaviour: Damages before the European Court of Human Rights’. (2018) Vol 29/4. European Journal of International Law, pp 1091-1125. 


February 2022

Our Symposium on Bias in International Law is coming out in the German Law Journal. You can read the introduction to the special issue, co-authored by Veronika Fikfak, Daniel Peat and Eva van der Zee here

January 2022

We are collaborating with Compliance Politics and International Investment Disputes project, led by Malcolm Langford and based at Pluricourts, University of Oslo. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway. Read more about the project here

8 December 2021

Katharina Luckner spoke at the JURIX conference workshop on agent-based modelling about how ABM could be used in international law to map states' compliance practices. 

9 September 2021

Veronika Fikfak spoke at the ESIL Annual Conference in Stockholm on Changing Local Implementation of international law. She presented initial results of the HRNUDGE project and discussed the relevance of networks for implementation of human rights norms. A video of the presentation is available here (at min 24:00)