The growing impact of European institutions on the daily lives of citizens has stimulated greater attention to the public's trust in these bodies. Existing research on trust in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) tends to focus on the role of judges and their rulings. In contrast, this article examines the role of the ECtHR's Registry. We argue that the civil servants of the ECtHR serve a critical function for the court's operation and have the potential to play an indispensable trust-building role. Drawing on interviews with court officials and survey responses from government agents, we identify and discuss the practices and features of the Registry that contribute to, or undermine, member states' estimations of trust in the ECtHR. In light of repeated and mounting criticism by member governments, our findings have important implications for the continued relevance of, and political support for, the Court moving forward.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
** Zuzanna Godzimirska, Assistant Professor, iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The authors thank several helpful commentators, interviewees at the Court and Natalie Winston for her research assistance. This research was partly funded by the Danish National Research Foundation Grant no. DNRF105.
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