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

3 cups



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.



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 HRO 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).


Eva van der Zee, Veronika Fikfak, and Daniel Peat. 'Introduction to the Symposium on the Limitations of the Behavioural Turn in International Law.' American Journal of International Law Unbound, 21 July 2021.  

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. 


21 and 23 September

On Tuesday, Veronika Fikfak spoke about building a research team in a pandemic at the UK's SLSA Doing Socio-legal research in a pandemic. The registration link and programme is here.

On Thursday, Katharina Luckner spoke about applying agent based modelling to human rights compliance at the ESIL IG Group on Social Sciences and International Law Workshop on Sustainable Development and the Potentials of Using Behavioural Insights. The programme and registration link is here.

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)

21 July 2021

Veronika Fikfak (together with Daniel Peat and Eva van der Zee) organised an AJIL Unbound Symposium on Limitations of the Behavioural Turn in International Law with contributions from Emilie Hafner-Burton, Anne van Aaken, Lauge Poulsen and Michael Waibel, Sungjoon Cho, and Doron Teichman and Eyal Zamir. The introduction to the Symposium can be found here