Red shoes united against violence on women © MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com

Does International Law Help Eradicate Domestic Violence? Assessing the Impact of International Legal Instruments on Domestic Policies

Ezgi Yildiz and Umut Yüksel, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
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Online event


Meeting number: 1377842748
Password: MpzcP4h4


This presentation gives an account on how an international legal obligation to protect women from domestic violence came to being and the influence of this norm at the domestic level.

In particular, the authors look at the impact of international legal instruments and institutions on state policy aimed at the eradication of domestic violence. They use data from the Global Database on Violence against Women to assess the spread of policies both across states and over time. They assess whether the existence of international instruments and institutions make it more likely that states pass various types of legislation with the aim of countering domestic violence against women. They examine both the speed with which different measures are introduced, and the extent to which states appear to emulate each other when they devise measures against domestic violence. In so doing, they explain the extent to which international legal instruments directly or indirectly influence state policies to address domestic violence and shed light on the role of International Law in resolving this entrenched global problem.


About the speakers

Ezgi Yildiz works at the Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute, Geneva. She is the Principal Investigator for Testing the Focal Point Theory of International Adjudication: An Empirical Analysis of the ICJ’s Impact on Maritime Delimitation project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She is also the Postdoctoral Researcher for the Paths of International Law: Stability and Change in the International Legal Order (PATHS) project funded by the European Research Council. She holds a PhD in International Relations with a Minor in International Law (summa cum laude with distinction) from the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Her research focuses on the politics of international law, and legal change. In particular, she works on international courts and tribunals, regional human rights regimes and the prohibition of torture. Her work has appeared (or forthcoming) in, inter alia, European Journal of International Law, Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, and Journal of Human Rights Practice.

Umut Yüksel is a postdoctoral researcher in the Global Governance Centre and a visiting lecturer in the department of International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. In addition to teaching the compulsory introduction to statistical methods course, he is currently working on two research projects: The Domain of International Adjudication: Why Sovereign States Abandon Decision Control and Testing the Focal Point Theory of International Adjudication: An Empirical Analysis of the ICJ’s Impact on Maritime Delimitation. He obtained his PhD in International Relations and Political Science in 2019 with a PhD thesis entitled "Bargaining over Maritime Boundaries in Times of Legal Uncertainty" (summa cum laude). Prior to the completion of his PhD, Umut was a visiting researcher at Stanford University as a Swiss National Science Foundation fellow. His policy-related work on law of the sea matters was previously published in the National Interest and LSE Blog.



The purpose of this Gender Centre seminar is to offer a platform of exchange for students, doctoral students in particular, and researchers whose work includes a gender perspective. During this monthly series, students will have the opportunity to discuss their work, meet peers from different disciplines at the Graduate Institute, as well as interact with guest speakers and faculty members.


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