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34 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 309 (2019-2020)
Enduring Practices in Changing Circumstances: A Comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

handle is hein.journals/tclj34 and id is 317 raw text is: 





            ENDURING PRACTICES IN CHANGING
 CIRCUMSTANCES: A COMPARISON OF THE EUROPEAN
 COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE INTER-AMERICAN
                   COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

                              Ezgi Yildiz *

    What  explains the difference between court practices? This article attempts to
address this question by looking at the relation between legal cultures and practices
through the lenses of practice theory. In particular, it focuses on public hearings as
distinct courtroom practices at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR). I examine the inclusiveness
of their public hearings, assessing the extent to which victims and civil society
groups may actively participate in the hearings. To do so, I rely on the existing
literature and evidence gathered through on-site visits and a series of interviews
conducted at the ECtHR and the IACtHR. I show the circular relation between legal
cultures and practices with a twofold analysis. First, these courts were created in
different historical contexts in response to different societal needs. The self-image
that they held at their inception has since served as a creation myth. This myth has
largely shaped their institutional practices to this day. Second, the persistence of
these practices - despite changing circumstances - has helped keep this creation
myth and self-image alive. This empirically informed analysis sheds light on how
legal cultures and ethos shape the way public hearings are organized and furthers
our understanding of the sociology of international courts.


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