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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


Veronika Fikfak is based at University College London. 


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



Zuzanna Godzimirska, Aysel Küçüksu, Salome Ravn. 'From the Vantage Point of Vulnerability Theory: Algorithmic Decision-Making and Access to the European Court of Human Rights.' (2022) 20 Nordic Journal of Human Rights 235-249. 

Katharina Luckner, Veronika Fikfak. 'Applications of ABM in International Legal Research: The case of Compliance.' CEUR-WS Proceedings 3182.


Ula Aleksandra Kos, Zita Barcza-Szabó and Veronika Fikfak. 'Hungary’s 75% ECHR Compliance Rate Re-examined'. iCourts Working Papers Series.


Veronika Fikfak and Lora Izvorova. 'Language and Persuasion: Human Dignity at the European Court of Human Rights.' (2022) 22.4 Human Rights Law Review, forthcoming


Niccolò Ridi and Veronika Fikfak. 'Sanctioning to Change State Behaviour.' (2022) 13.2 Journal of International Dispute Settlement. 

Veronika Fikfak. 'Against Settlement in the European Court of Human Rights'. (2022) 20.3 International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming. 

Veronika Fikfak, Daniel Peat, and Eva van der Zee.
Bias in International Law.'  (2022) 23.3 German Law Journal.


Daniel Peat, Veronika Fikfak, and Eva van der Zee. 'Behavioural Compliance Theory.'  (2022) 13.2 Journal of International Dispute Settlement. 

Aysel Küçüksu. 'Enforcing Rights Beyond Litigation: Mapping NGO Strategies in Monitoring ECtHR Judgment Implementation.' (2022) 22.3 Human Rights Law Review, forthcoming.

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).

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. 


15 November 2022

Aysel Küçüksu gave an interview to Democracy Reporting International providing input for their report about Danish elections and the Rule of Law. Aysel spoke about her research on Denmark's compliance with ECtHR judgments, also addressing specific areas like migration. You can read her thoughts here

September and October 2022

September and October were busy for all of us on HRNUDGE. We presented our work at the International Empirical Legal Studies Conference in Amsterdam, at the European Social Simulation Association Conference in Milan, at the iCourts 3.0  launch conference, at ECPR Joint Global Politics of Law & Courts Workshop in Berlin,  at a workshop on Values of the European Court of Human Rights in Birmingham, and at a workshop to celebrate 20 years of the Human Rights Act in London.  


1 September 2022

A new member has joined our team: Thorbjørn Waal Lundsgaard who will undertake his PhD at Copenhagen University as part of the NUDGE project. Thorbjørn will focus on Nordic countries and identifying the structures and processes that facilitate compliance and implementation of human rights decisions. Check out our 'Team page' for more information about Thorbjørn.

11 August 2022

Our paper on how we can use agent-based modelling in international legal research by Katharina Luckner and Veronika Fikfak is now out at CEUR-WS. In it, we show how and why ABM is relevant for lawyers and how it could be used to model states' compliance practices. 

10 August 2022

Our paper Language and Persuasion: Human Dignity before the European Court of Human Rights by Veronika Fikfak and Lora Izvorova is out. The paper shows that the European Court of Human Rights uses terminology of dignity strategically to compel states to change their behaviour. But do they do so? We answer the question on the case of Russia. The full paper can be found here

Rewarding in International Law - Interview

Rewarding in International Law - Interview

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