Trust in the Court: The Role of the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights

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The increasing impact of European institutions—and particularly courts—on the daily lives of European citizens has led to growing attention to the public’s trust in these bodies. In contrast to existing research on trust in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which tends to focus on the role of judges and their rulings, this article examines the role of the Registry. We argue that the civil servants of the ECtHR serve a critical function for the court’s operation and have the potential to play an indispensable trust-building role. Drawing on interviews with court officials and survey responses from government agents, we identify and discuss the practices and features of the Registry that contribute to or undermine member states’ estimations of trust in the ECtHR. In light of repeated and mounting criticism by member governments, our findings have important implications for the continued relevance of and political support for the Court moving forward.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)665–687
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 209598999