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 



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. 


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

 14 July 2022

Our new country report on Hungary is out! In it, we show how Hungary strategically avoids confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights by taking advantage of friendly settlements and thus minimising the need to make any concrete human rights changes in its own domestic system. The report can be found here 

21 June 2022

We have been invited to present our work at the European Implementation Network Conference on Systemic Non-Implementation of ECtHR judgments in Strasbourg this week. Aysel Küçüksu and Ula Kos will be talking about our work on how NGOs and national human rights institutes play a crucial role in facilitating compliance. The programme of the event is attached. For how your NGO can help, please see our contribution here.

13 April 2022

Our Symposium on Bias in International Law is now openly available in the German Law Journal. You can read the introduction, along with great articles from Moshe Hirsch, Benedikt Pirker and Izabela Skoczen, Jonathan Kolieb, Runar Lie, Evangelina Nissoti, Eva van der Zee, and Ezgi Yildiz and Umut Yüksel. 

Rewarding in International Law - Interview

Rewarding in International Law - Interview

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