The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is currently facing instances of severe criticism. A relatively new phenomenon is that not only political actors or the tabloid join the chorus of critical voices but that resistance to ECtHR judgments also originates from highest national courts, thereby translating the conflict into a genuinely legal one. Legal scholarship has developed the concept of ‘principled resistance’ in order to analyse the implications of this phenomenon. So far, the focus of research was on the consequences that cases of principled resistance have for the implementation of a given ECtHR judgment. The focus of the current paper is different, in that it delves into the root causes underlying cases of principled resistance. It thereby contributes to the endeavour of this book to connect the present with the past.
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