London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Pilot Judgments

Responding to Systemic Human Rights Violations: an Analysis of ‘Pilot Judgments’ of the European Court of Human Rights and their impact within national systems

In 2010, HRSJ concluded a research project on the ‘pilot judgment’ procedure of the European Court of Human Rights, which highlights wide-scale, systemic human rights violations and calls on states to take general measures to remedy them. The research was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and published by INTERSENTIA. The report’s conclusions and recommendations are available HERE 

The report was launched at a SEMINAR hosted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Speakers and participants included representatives of the Court, the Department for the Execution of Judgments, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as representatives of national governments, courts, parliaments and human rights institutions, NGOs and academics. View a REPORT* of the seminar and selected presentations.

A SEMINAR hosted by Mr Jakub WoBsiewicz (the Polish Government agent at the European Court), co-organised by HRSJ and funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was held as part of the project at the National School of Public Administration in Warsaw.   

View SUBMISSIONS (made by EHRAC, Amnesty International and the AIRE Centre) regarding rules of the European Court of Human Rights on the pilot judgment procedure

The research was conducted by Prof. Philip Leach (Director, HRSJ), Dr. Svetlana Stephenson (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, London Metropolitan University), Prof. Brad Blitz (Professor of Human and Political Geography, Kingston University) and Dr Helen Hardman, (the project’s primary researcher, London Metropolitan University). 

*   Since the report was published, The European Court of Human Rights has introduced a new rule with effect from 1 April 2011 which clarifies how it handles potential systemic or structural human rights violations. The new rule codifies the Court’s existing 'pilot judgment' procedure and establishes a clear regulatory framework for the procedure. 

Click here for a press release issued by the Court:

Click here to read the new rule:


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