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Institut für Völkerrecht und ausländisches Verfassungsrecht  Lehrstuhl Keller

Seminar "Communicated Cases before the ECtHR" FS 24

Seminar on "Communicated Cases (and their Solutions) before the ECtHR"

In the spring semester of 2024, Prof. Keller will give a seminar on "Communicated Cases (and their Solutions) before the ECtHR" together with Dr. Corina Heri. The seminar will take place in English and offer places for both Bachelor-level and Master-level students. All information on the seminar can be found below. Registration should take place via the Faculty of Law's seminar registration tool.

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Helen Keller, Dr. Corina Heri

Language: English

Suitable for: Bachelor and Master students

Concept: Students will analyse pending cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Each student will be assigned a pending case before the ECtHR (against Switzerland or another Member State) based on the list of topics. Students will be invited to analyse the law, context, and significance of ‘their’ case, engage critically with the underlying issues and propose possible outcomes based on the law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Because these cases are not yet decided, the aim is not to comment on a judgment – as for most topics there is not one available – but to stimulate independent research and argumentative creativity based on existing case-law. In cases where judgments are published before the thesis is submitted, students may also engage in the analysis of possible alternative outcomes.

Requirements: Solid knowledge of the ECHR system is required. Successful completion of the seminar includes the submission of a suitable thesis as well as participation in two block days in Zurich, during which students will give group presentations (on a topic to be specified). If a suitable Grand Chamber hearing becomes available on the ECtHR’s calendar, students will also be invited to participate in a trip to Strasbourg to attend this hearing. Participation in this part of the seminar is not mandatory, albeit encouraged.

Language: The participants may write their theses in either German or English. However, the seminar block days and group presentations will be held in English.

Registration: Interested participants should apply for this course via the Faculty of Law’s seminar booking tool.

Contact: Benjamin Baumann (

Costs: The costs of the seminar days in Zurich will be covered by Prof. Keller’s Chair. Funding for the trip to Strasburg will be sought, but students will be expected to cover at least part of the costs of their travel and accommodation.

Preliminary discussion and topic allocation: After the registration process is complete, participants will be invited to select three preferred topics. The topics will be definitively assigned during the preliminary meeting on 27 November 2023, at which time the dates for the remainder of the seminar will be communicated (see the provisional schedule). While we will endeavour to allocate each participant one of their preferred topics, we cannot guarantee that this will be the case, and reserve the right to allocate the topics as we see fit.

The list of topics for the seminar can be downloaded here (PDF, 195 KB).

The provisional schedule can be downloaded here (PDF, 126 KB).