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 understand why and how states interfere in individuals’ lives and then determine how and when this behaviour may be changed to encourage better respect for human rights norms. The team will build on insights from behavioural economics, psychology, and social sciences to come up with new solutions – incentives or nudges – which governments, communities and even individuals can employ in the future. Our main purpose is to establish how we can deter and minimise violations of 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 ERC funded Human Rights Nudge 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. 


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. 


Aysel Küçüksu. 'In the Aftermath of a Judgment: Why Human Rights Organisations Should Harness the Potential of Rule 9'. Strasbourg Observers, 3 March 2021.


Veronika Fikfak and Ula Kos. 'Slovenia Country Report - An Exemplary Complier with judgments ECtHR'. (2021) 8 Pravna Praksa, pp II-XI.


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. 


Forthcoming workshop: 8 June 2021

The Influence, Legacy and Future of the European Court of Human Rights in the International Legal Order, event organised as part of the ESIL Interest Group on International Courts and Tribunals, programme and registration here.

22-23 April 2021

Behavioural Approaches to International Law, workshop organised as part of the new ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law, programme here

10 March 2021

Compliance with ECtHR Judgments in Slovenia; online presentation of the recently published report with commentary, (in English); video now available here.


3 March 2021

Aysel Küçüksu publishes a new blog post at Strasbourg Observers on the role NGOs play in the aftermath of an ECtHR judgment.