Fellow Talk
Thu 11 May 2023 | 15:00–16:00

“Let's Talk about the Rule of Law”

Fellow Talk by Silvia Steininger (MPIL), chaired by Maciej Krogel (EUI)

“Justice not only needs to be done; it needs to be seen to be done.” This research project investigates the rule of law-related communication of the press departments of the CJEU, the ECtHR, and selected national apex courts. It employs a multi- method approach to understand how the rule of law is discussed by and among courts in their communication to the public. Nowadays, courts not only publish press releases, but also run live streams, hold press briefings, have professional spokespeople craft media statements, and run social media accounts. The multi-faceted mode of court communication opens new channels for courts to relate to the public and to respond directly to other judicial or political actors. Rule of law-related jurisprudence by the CJEU and ECtHR is highly politicized and thus also of great risk to be misinterpreted and twisted by populist actors. Court communication can thus influence public opinion on the rule of law, the European institutions, and particularly the role of courts in protecting, promoting, and respecting the rule of law.

Silvia Steininger is a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Goethe University Frankfurt under the supervision of Professor Armin von Bogdandy. She holds graduate degrees in public international law (University of Amsterdam) and political science (University of Heidelberg) and lectures human rights and public international law in universities in Germany, France, and Denmark. In her PhD project, she investigates the consequences of state backlash upon the institutional resilience of the European and Inter-American human rights regimes. Previous research stays led her to the European University Institute, the Department for the Execution of ECHR Judgments in Strasbourg, iCourts Centre of Excellence for International Courts Copenhagen, and the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School. She publishes widely on matter of human rights, courts, international institutions, investment law and arbitration.

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