‘History Watch by the European Court of Human Rights’

mardi 20 mars 2018 par Dorothea Staes

The judges of the European Court of Human Rights write state-sponsored history. This chapter assesses the reciprocal influences of historical debates on the Court, and vice versa. The Court clarifies how the Member States have to deal with history and historical research under the framework of human rights, for example, the freedom of expression, the right to private life, and aspects of the right to the truth. On the other hand, the Court interferes with history in a more direct manner : it asserts and instrumentalizes certain historical facts. Illustrated by various recent cases, this chapter highlights the Court’s powerful role in protecting or hindering historical investigations and in writing history itself on the basis of often weak references and arguments.


de Broux, P.-O. and Staes, D., ‘History Watch by the European Court of Human Rights’, in B. Bevernage and N. Wouters(eds), The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945, Springer, 2018, 101-119.

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