ECtHR Intervention Clinic

The ECtHR Intervention Clinic is an extra-curricular activity run by Dr Martin Husovec in collaboration with an NGO, the European Information Society Institute (EISi), that regularly intervenes before ECtHR in important cases involving digital liberties. It provides a unique opportunity for LSE LLM students to get involved in pending cases and suggest to the Court how to interpret the law before it makes its decision. The third parties interventions are often cited by the Strasbourg court in its decisions.

Recent interventions by LSE Law students:

For further information, please contact Dr Martin Husovec.


Sanjana Sreenath

The ECtHR intervention clinic is an excellent opportunity to work on an ongoing case before the European Court of Human Rights, relating to the violation of freedom of speech in the digital space. This year’s clinic filed an intervention application in the case of Sanchez v. France and suggested an alternative application to the Delfi test applicable to digital intermediaries.

As a part of the clinic, one gets to interact and work closely with Prof. Martin Husovec and a group of 5 other students from different specialisms, who bring different views and perspectives to the table. Prof Husovec’s insightful feedback on our drafts would always drive us in the right direction. It encouraged me to learn about an increasingly important field of law, with a fun group of people, and creatively apply these learnings to an actual case! Not having a thorough knowledge of the European Court and European Human Right law, I could not have asked for a better way to learn it. 

It bridges the gap between academic learning and practical application of the law. Participating in it allowed us to expand our knowledge and made us contemplate arguments that are not just academically sound, but also appeal to and convince a court of law. It is also extremely satisfying to see one’s work have the potential to contribute to the development of jurisprudence in a particular area of law.

Prof Husovec also arranged a meeting with Daphne Keller (she directs the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Centre, and was formerly the Director of Intermediary Liability at CIS) to get her feedback on the draft, which allowed us to pick her brain on the effects the digital intermediary liability has, both within the digital ecosystem and outside it. 



Harold Miñarro Escalona

The European Court of Human Rights Intervention Clinic proved to be an immense opportunity to put in practice part of the knowledge developed during the master. I got the chance to go even beyond that point by looking into the influence and impact of technology and the advancement of the digital era over human rights in Europe, which I believe can spread and become an example for other regional and domestic courts, being therefore important to get the best possible outcome when approaching these issues that require a balancing between freedom of expression, responsibilities and the actual possibilities of States to guarantee this right in the digital space. For anybody interested in international law and human rights practice, this is the main project to look into. 



Cham Mikhaeil

The ECtHR Intervention Clinic was one of the most exciting experiences on my LLM and it is something I will cherish for years to come. It encouraged me to engage with genuine facts and issues in an effort to alter the fabric of principles that guard our inalienable rights in the digital space. It was a rare opportunity that allowed us to create an argument which may alter the trajectory of a case and may be cited by the Court in its judgement. 

The Clinic involved numerous weeks of planning, research, discussion and drafting. It was a team effort and each step had to be carefully coordinated. For example, we would call almost every week and signpost our progress through numerous Google Docs on a shared Drive folder. We also acquainted ourselves with precedent from numerous jurisdictions, ECtHR case-law, and works of academics and think-tanks. The Clinic brought together students from different legal backgrounds, allowing for many types of arguments to be debated back and forth. Additionally, Dr Husovec’s understanding in the field is unmatched and his guidance illuminated the shortcomings of many ideas found in the field today.  

As the Council of Europe is debating social media platform regulation, working on this intervention is highly relevant and extremely rewarding. Moreover, given that Sanchez v France is the first case of its kind and its effects may trickle down to everyday situations, we had to consider the potency of our proposals in each step of the process and think of whether we truly want the Court to ascribe duties to social media users.



Tatjana Grote

The ECtHR intervention clinic was probably one of the highlights of my LLM for three key reasons.

First, we were able to apply what we had learned in our courses to a very intriguing and at the same time highly relevant case. Although we all had different backgrounds, we were able to link the work on the brief back to some of the readings and discussions we had in our seminars. While these can sometimes feel slightly removed from real world cases and problems, the Clinic filled them with a new, more practical meaning.

Second, drafting an amicus curiae submission allowed us to practice a different type of writing: as logically rigorous as in academia, but more focused and tailored to a specific audience, which was both challenging and interesting.

Third, and most importantly, working in a team of incredibly smart people with similar interests was truly inspiring and a lot of fun. Although we only got to work together for a relatively short period of time, we built a real team spirit which certainly helped with (and in fact was reinforced by) the at times tight deadlines we were facing.

Overall, I will cherish the Clinic as a very good memory and I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply.



Li Qing

"The clinic is an opportunity to work with Assistant Professor Martin Husovec to prepare an intervention for a significant case before the European Court of Human Rights.

I would definitely recommend the clinic. Firstly, you gain a rare opportunity to learn first-hand how a professor brainstorms for, structures and edits a piece of work. Those skills came in handy when I wrote my essays and dissertation. Relatedly, as a master’s student on a one-year course, there wasn’t much opportunity to get to know a professor well. The clinic provided a good opportunity to work closely with Martin and get to know him as a person.

I also learned how to interpret Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which was very useful for the copyright law, digital rights, and environmental law courses that I took.

Sometimes, experts are invited to share their thoughts with us, which was very interesting and eye-opening. For example, we had a zoom call with an IT security expert who not only explained the mechanics of end-to-end encryption, but also ended up teaching us how people could hack into our phones and computers and recommended the safest communication apps, phone and computer we should use.

Lastly but perhaps most importantly, the clinic is a great chance to make friends and bond with a group of like-minded students who are smart, driven, and passionate. The clinic didn’t take up too much of our time, and Martin was very conscientious when it came to leaving us enough time to prepare for exams and dissertation, so overall, it was a rewarding investment of my time and effort."


ola-al-khatibOla Al Khatib

"LSE’s Technology Law Clinic gave me the valuable experience of co-producing an academic piece in an international team. Moreover, the Clinic illustrates how (legal) academia does not operate from within an ivory tower, but is very much connected to all that happens in the world. With this judgement, the European Court of Human Rights will further develop its case-law on the lawful scope of state surveillance when the aim of national security is invoked. As governments all over the Council of Europe seek to curtail freedom of expression and privacy, participating in this clinic has been an exciting, relevant, and intellectually fulfilling experience."



marina-croppedMarina Vladimirova

"The Clinic is a rare opportunity to embrace your desire for intellectually demanding legal work and innovative thinking. Dealing with the case, you need to analyse the facts, study various legal opinions, and critically assess the conclusions. I was very inspired to contribute to protecting privacy and freedom of expression, working in a team with other students.

My task was to research Russian law and analyse the documents issued by the national authorities. Despite the independent nature of the work, our team had zoom calls almost weekly, where we discussed our drafts and supported each other during the pandemic. Moreover, I was excited to work under the supervision of Martin Husovec, who always guided our research and clarified any issues we had.

The Clinic is not monotonous research but rather engaging teamwork on a challenging legal matter. For a better understanding of the technological aspects, Martin organised a session with a leading encryption expert. Furthermore,  a Russian lawyer, Martin's colleague, attended every team meeting to provide valuable advice on Russian law and practice.

To sum up, by participating in the Clinic's research, I gained a unique opportunity to contribute to human rights protection, working with the initiative, passionate students and leading lawyers from all over the world."