By Laura Van den Eynde, Research Fellow (F.N.R.S.) at the Center for Public Law – Université libre de Bruxelles. Laura’s Ph.D. research focuses on the relationships between human rights NGOs and jurisdictions and the influences these organizations have on judicial dialogue.
This post aims at discussing a question related to case selection when conducting research. The relevance or the need to limit the number of cases to examine is particularly acute regarding the European Court of Human Rights (whose case law contains many repetitive cases). One option is to analyse ‘landmark cases’, which requires a more precise definition or at least a coherent methodology for drawing up the list of cases. Although the term is frequently used, it is often difficult to rely on a specific criterion to determine what a ‘landmark’ case is and more research seems to have been conducted regarding the United States or the Court of Justice of the European Union.