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. 


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, Justine Batura and Christian Pogies. 'From Sticks to Carrots?: An Introduction to the Symposium on Rewarding in International Law.' Völkerrechtsblog, 7 June 2021.  

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


21 July 2021

Veronika Fikfak organised (together with Daniel Peat and Eva van der Zee) 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

July 2021

This month we welcome *new team members* to the HRNUDGE team - an agent-based modeller, two researchers looking at the implementation of ECtHR judgments in Hungary and Poland, as well as Copenhagen masters students who have successfully defended their dissertations on HRNUDGE. Check out our Team page

7-11 June 2021

We are running a symposium in Völkerrechtsblog on Anne van Aaken and Betül Simsek's Rewarding In International Law. Read interventions by Daniel Peat, Silvia Steininger, Luis Montoya, Cristina Lucena, and Matej Avbelj here. A conversation with the authors follows here

19 May 2021

Veronika Fikfak published a blog post on Strasbourg Observers regarding a recent proposal mooted by the European Court of Human Rights to introduce decision-making by algorithm.