ECPR Best Paper Award goes to Yulia Khalikova › view all
ECPR’s Standing Group on Law & Court's Best Conference Paper Award
Yulia Khalikova, BIGSSS-Departs fellow, was awarded the ECPR’s Standing Group on Law & Courts’ Best Conference Paper Award for Junior Researchers for her paper “Authoritarian Capture or Strategic Resistance? When Judges Use International Human Rights Law”
In the study she investigates whether domestic judges appeal to international treaties for additional legitimacy, either to justify state policies or protect themselves against domestic actors and enhance compliance. She explores this question in relation to the Russian Constitutional Court and its citation of international law. Using original data of the court’s judgments, she demonstrates that the RCC strategically grounds its judgments in international law to appeal to broader audiences and this relationship is more profound in politically salient cases or judgments with more dissents. She also shows that judges refer to international law to justify state’s (repressive) policies, rather than to strike them as unconstitutional. This finding illustrates how modern autocrats, with the help of courts, can utilize international (liberal) institutions to further consolidate power.