LEGAPOLIS seeks to understand and explain how by interpreting the Convention the European Court of Human Rights has over time expanded and transformed from a primarily political and institutionally weak international regime into a binding legal system of transnational rights review. It explores in a systematic way the causes and consequences of its expansion by specifically focusing on the Court’s burgeoning case law pertaining to minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers. Through a series of case studies and comparative analyses, LEGAPOLIS explores the proposition that the Court’s expansion and institutionalization has been spanned by processes of social mobilization and repeat litigation on the one hand, and progressively more expansive interpretations by the Strasbourg Court. LEGAPOLIS employs a fundamentally interdisciplinary approach that extensively draws from legal studies but employs a political science and political sociology perspective with insights from European integration studies. In taking a bottom-up approach centring on the role of civil society, it shall make a distinct contribution to existing research on human rights and European integration, particularly from an interdisciplinary and contextual approach to law and rights that is highly undeveloped in Europe.
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