Başak Çalı

Head of Research and Professor of International Law

Other affiliations

Mansfield College Law Faculty


Başak Çalı is head of research at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Professor of International Law. She is also currently Professor of International Law and director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School, Berlin. She holds a permanent visiting professorship from the I-Courts Centre for Excellence at the University of Copenhagen and is a fellow of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. She has held visiting professorships in Ankara, Oslo, Paris, and Natolin and serves on the board of a number of journals.

Her expertise concerns international law and human rights. She has published widely in the fields of authority of international law, standards of review in international law, the relationship between international law and domestic law, European human rights law, UN human rights law and comparative international human rights law. She has pioneered the study of bad faith violations of human rights law (Wisconsin International Law Journal, 2018), and is the author of 'Authority of International Law: Obedience, Respect and Rebuttal' (OUP 2015), editor of International Law for International Relations (OUP, 2010), co- editor of Legalisation of Human Rights: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Human Rights and Human Rights Law (Routledge 2006), Migration and the European Convention on Human Rights (OUP, 2021) and Secondary Rules of Primary Importance: Standards of Review, Causality, Evidence and Attribution before International Courts and Tribunals (OUP, 2022).

She is the principle investigator of ‘Deep Impact through Soft Jurisprudence? The Contribution of United Nations Treaty Body Case Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law’ (German Science Council 2023-2026) and co-investigator of ‘Frames: Framing Reality and Normativity in European Human Rights Law: Climate Change, Migration, and Authoritarianism (Volkswagen Foundation 2023-2025).

As a legal practitioner, Başak is a founder and chair of the board of the European Implementation Network, Europe’s leading civil society organization that advocates for the full and effective implementation of human rights judgments. She has acted as an expert on the European Convention on Human Rights since 2002 and has trained judges, prosecutors, lawyers and police officers in the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights across the Council of Europe. She has acted as a legal representative or advisor in cases before the European Court of Human Rights.