Research project

Too little, too late?: The effectiveness of Article 18 ECHR

About the project

Article 18 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) is used by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to pierce the veil that states use to legitimise restrictions on human rights to highlight the true (often nefarious) ulterior state purposes ultimately motivating such restrictions in ways not compatible with the object and purpose of the ECHR. However, Article 18 is a complex and controversial provision. Its application foremost requires an international human rights court to scrutinise and rule on domestic policy motivations which disregard human rights protections. Unsurprisingly, this exercise has led to notable doctrinal incoherencies in the relevant ECtHR case law, received adverse political protest and has posed questions regarding the legitimacy of such an inquiry as part of supra-national human rights-based review. To better delineate and realise Article 18’s operative potential, this doctoral project examines the use of the provision with doctrinal, normative and socio-legal methodologies.