London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Civil and Political Rights - Europe in transition and conflict

This strand is concerned with the protection of fundamental civil and political rights in the former Soviet states and in regions of conflict within Europe. In these contexts, the Institute carries out research, provides consultancy and training.

Our research has provided critical evaluations of the operation of the European Court of Human Rights. This research has been concerned with, among other issues, access to justice and the adequacy of redress for victims of human rights violations within Europe. The research is guided not only by scientific interest, but also by a desire to help ensure the survival of the Strasbourg system under current institutional pressures, notably a backlog of some 160,000 cases.

HRSJ’s work centres on a number of key substantive rights: the right to life; the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment; and rights arising in the administration of criminal justice (including the right to liberty and security of the person and the right to a fair hearing). The following cross-cutting themes commonly arise:

  • The application of international standards in a particular domestic context
  • Barriers to achieving effective access to justice
  • Domestic implementation of international standards
  • The extent to which ‘economic, social and cultural rights’ can be enforced through the activation of mechanisms more traditionally concerned with ‘civil and political rights’

Projects under this strand include:

Responding to Systemic Human Rights Violations: an analysis of ‘pilot judgments’ of the European Court of Human Rights and their impact within national systems

International Human Rights & Fact-Finding: An analysis of fact-finding hearings and missions of the European Court (and Commission) of Human Rights.

Training and consultancy

Members of the Institute regularly act as expert trainers for international bodies such as the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, providing human rights training for judges, lawyers, prosecutors, the police and NGOs.  

Members of the Institute carried out a Georgia Procuracy Reform Project, managed by the British Council and funded by the European Commission. This involved designing and delivering, in conjunction with Georgian experts, a training curriculum based on international human rights law, and incorporating Georgian legislation and practice. The training was provided to more than 600 Georgian prosecutors in 14 sessions across Georgia. 

HRSJ was also commissioned by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the Council of Europe to carry out a pilot project aimed at facilitating the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations in Albania, Georgia and Moldova.


The European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) offers voluntary privacy certification of IT products and IT-based services. The seal is issued after successful completion of a rigorous certification procedure and affirms compliance with the demanding EuroPriSe certification criteria. Prof. Douwe Korff, an associate of HRSJ, is a registered expert with EuroPriSe and contributed to the initiative in the area of comparative European standard-setting and training. He focused on detailed analysis of European data protection standards and provided a detailed set of criteria, with a manual and an extensive commentary.  


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