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The discovery of human rights in Belgian law: case law against Belgium in the first decades of the European Commission for Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Eva Brems
Co-supervision: Prof. Dr. Dirk Heirbaut
Researcher: Dr. Laurens Lavrysen
Sponsored by FWO (2013-2018)

: Conseil de l'Europe, 4/11/1950. Noir et blanc

Signature de la Convention eruopéenne de droit de l’homme. Copyright: (c) Council of Europe Rome

The research project concerns the question how, during the first decades of the operation of the European Court of Human Rights (1960s, 1970s, and 1980s), this Court and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) gradually managed to find a place in Belgium’s domestic legal landscape and to impose their authority.

The project is on the one hand concerned with finding out which actors and factors played a role in the discovery and realization of the European Convention’s potential. In order to do so, the persons who brought the early cases against Belgium before the European Court of Human Rights will be interviewed.

On the other hand, it aims to find out how the European Convention and the case law of the Court were received and which impact they had during those first decades, with a particular focus on Belgian legal scholarship, case law and parliamentary documents.

  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Heirbaut
  • FWO (2013-2018)


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