Dilek Kurban, a Fellow and Lecturer at the Hertie School, presented her book published in 2020.
In an online event hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights on 10 March 2021, Dr. Dilek Kurban, a Fellow and Lecturer at the Hertie School, discussed the findings of her book, Limits of Supranational Justice: The European Court of Human Rights and Turkey's Kurdish Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Alexandra Huneeus, Professor of Law and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin, contributed from her perspective as an expert on the inter-American human rights system. The discussion was moderated by Başak Çalı, Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the school's Centre for Fundamental Rights.
Kurban discussed the research question her book aims to address: What are the possibilities and limitations of effective review by a supernational human rights court when it comes to authoritarian regimes engaging state violence against minorities? According to Kurban, effectiveness in this context is interpreted as the court's willingness to make use of its tools and resources and by its openness to legal mobilisation of minorities failed by their own judicial systems.
The book seeks to answer this research question by analysing the case study of the European Court of Human Rights' (ECtHR) engagement in the Turkey's Kurdish conflict. It aims at reaching conclusions that could inform future engagements of the ECtHR in other territorial settings as well as contribute to the inter-American human rights system.
In her intervention, Prof. Huneeus emphasised the novelty of this book. In contrast to the common narrative of the ECtHR as overseeing democracies - which do not engage in gross human rights violations - Kurban's book takes the perspective of the “hard case” to understand and reassess the role of the ECtHR. This new perspective offers a lesson for transnational courts in general, added Huneeus.
Listen to the presentation and discussion here: