This introductory chapter situates the phenomenon of reception of international law within the context of the interactions of the Strasbourg bodies with other legal regimes of the international legal order. The references to international law depend to a large extent on the ECHR interpretation process developed by the Court over the years. A survey of the case law reveals that the Court is situated at the apex of a delicate balance of interpretation, namely between an ‘open’ paradigm characterized by judicial activism and unhindered references and a ‘closed’ paradigm which does not allow the reception of external sources. This part of the book then introduces various processes which can hinder or enhance the reception process.
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