Yildiz, Ezgi (2020), “A Court with Many Faces: Judicial Characters and Modes of Norm Development in the European Court” European Journal of International Law, 31:1, Pages 73–99, (open access)

Yildiz, Ezgi (2020), “Enduring Practices in Changing Circumstances: A Comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights” Temple International and Comparative Law Journal (Read here)

Yildiz, Ezgi (forthcoming) “Revamping to Remain Relevant: How Do European and Inter-American Human Rights Systems Adapt to Challenges?” Journal of Human Rights Practice (with Isabela Gerbelli Garbin Ramanzini) (Read here)

Yildiz, Ezgi (forthcoming) “Understanding the Interpretative Evolution of the Norm Prohibiting Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment under the European Convention,” in Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law, eds. Joanna Lam and Anne Lise Kjær (Oxford University Press)

Yildiz, Ezgi  (2019) “Extraterritoriality Reconsidered: Functional Boundaries as Repositories of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction,” in The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics, eds. Daniel S. Margolies, Umut Özsu, Maïa Pal and Ntina Tzouvala (Routledge)

Yildiz, Ezgi  (2016) “Norm in Flux: The Development of the Norm Against Torture under the European Convention from a Macro Perspective,” iCourts Working Paper Series No. 45

Yildiz, Ezgi  (2014-2015) “Judicial Creativity in the Making: The Pilot Judgment Procedure a Decade After Its Inception,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law 8(1): 81-102 (Read here)

Yildiz, Ezgi (2014) Review of the European Court of Human Rights in the Post-Cold War Era: Universality in Transition by James Sweeney (Routledge, 2013), Swiss Political Science Review, 20(1): 179-181.

Yildiz, Ezgi  Between Forbearance and Audacity: How the European Court Redefined the Norm Against Torture (under review)

International courts are one of the usual suspects of change in the international legal order. We know that international courts shape existing norms with a view to meet changing times and societal needs. Yet, is this transformation always progressive? What are the conditions under which international courts may effectuate progressive legal change? This book addresses these questions by looking at the way the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has refashioned the norm against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (the Convention).

I explain norm change at two levels. First, on the micro level, I review how the Court delivers justice to victims who are seeking protection under the prohibition of torture. Second, on the macro level, I analyze how such transformative decisions have changed what it means to torture someone or to subject them to inhuman or degrading treatment.

In order to show what changed about the norm, I take the definition provided in the European Convention as the baseline. Then, I systematically analyze the Court’s case law on Article 3 to trace how the norm’s reach has extended to issues that are not traditionally associated with Article 3. I study this phenomenon by combining social science methods and legal analysis. I carry out a systematic analysis of all Article 3 judgement for the period between 1967 and 2016, which amounts to 2,414 judgments. I support this analysis with 36 semi-structured interviews I carried out in and around the Court. I have spoken to current and former judges, officials from the Court registry as well as activists and lawyers affiliated with civil society groups in Strasbourg, France; Geneva, Switzerland; London and Essex, the United Kingdom; and via Skype. The interviews have revealed not only how the Court functions but also what motivates it to refashion norms in a progressive manner – and what motivates it not to.