Skip to content


I am a PhD-researcher at EUI LAW working on a thesis on contemporary pressures on the European Court of Human Rights. I deal with questions of legitimacy and effective adjudication in the face of caseload pressure and politicization of judicial bodies, as well as how the Court might respond adjudicatively. I’m particularly interested in the role of the language and practice of deference. I utilize mixed quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

In addition to conducting research, I’m  part of the coordinating committee for the European Society of International Law’s Early Career Researchers Network. You can learn more about our work here: or get in touch with us at [email protected] or at

The best way to reach me directly is through email: [email protected]

Peer-reviewed articles
Molbæk-Steensig, H., 2024 ‘Battling for the Is-position in the field of law: the problem with caselaw sampling’. European Journal of Legal Studies. 15(2). 37-56. Italy.

Molbæk-Steensig, H. & Quemy, A., 2023, Judicial Independence and Impartiality: Tenure Changes at the European Court of Human Rights. European Journal of International Law, 34(4). Italy.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga. ‘Subsidiarity does not win cases: A mixed methods study of the relationship between margin of appreciation language and deference at the European Court of Human Rights’. Leiden Journal of International Law (2022): 1-25. Netherlands.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga. “AI at the European Court of Human Rights: technological improvement or leaving justice by the wayside?.” Ordine Internazionale e diritti umani 5 (2022): 1254-1267. Italy.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘Dealing with really good bad faith interpreters: M.A. v Denmark’. Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. 37(1). 2022. Netherlands.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘Who is responsible for the protection of human rights in Kosovo?’. Nordisk østforum. Vol. 34. 2020. Norway.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘In defence of the dynamic interpretation tradition at the European Court of Human Rights’. The Universal. Vol 2. 2018. Denmark. 

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘Politicisation of Enlargement: The future of the Balkans in Europe.’ Bezbednosni dijalozi. Vol 8(2). 2017. Skopje University. North Macedonia. 

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘The prohibition of retroactive law and other safeguards when conducting institutional reform: The right to non-recurrence in Bosnia-Herzegovina.’ International Journal on Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and Human Rights. Vol 7. December 2016. Pp. 138-146. Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘Reviewing the narrative of the double standard Europe concerning collective minority rights’. International Journal on Rule of Law, Transitional Justice of Human Rights. Vol. 6. December 2015. pp. 13-27. Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Book-chapters and working papers
Forthcoming: 4 entries (‘judgments’, ‘decisions’, ‘separate opinions’ and ‘striking out’) in Kushtrim Istrefi, Zane Ratniece and Kristaps Tamuzs (eds): Companion to The European Convention on Human Rights. (Brill 2023).

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga and Alexandre Quemy: Artificial Intelligence and Fair Trial Rights, In: Quintavalla, Alberto and Jeroen Temperman, Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press. 2023.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘The Copenhagen Declaration: Wrapping up the Interlaken Reform?’, in Stephanie Schiedermair, Schwarz, Alexander, Steiger, Dominik, Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights. Nomos. 2022.

Scheinin, Martin and Helga Molbæk-Steensig: ‘Pandemics and Human Rights: Three perspectives on human rights assessment of strategies against COVID-19’.  EUI Department of Law Research Paper 01/2021.

Scheinin, Martin and Helga Molbæk-Steensig: ‘Human rights-based versus populist responses to the pandemic’. In  Morten Kjaerum, Martha F. Davis, Amanda Lyons: COVID-19 and Human Rights. 2021

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga: ‘Kosovo og the oddities of
not being a recognised state’. In: Bülent Ağir (ed.): Kosovo: Past,
Present og Future. Nova. 2019

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga and Michael Widdowsson., ‘Publish, perish or (self-)plagiarise?’ European Journal of Legal Studies 15(2). 2024. 1.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga. “Maieutic or Meddlesome: reflections on the roles of the journal and the author.”  European Journal of Legal Studies, 15(1) (2023): 1.

Molbæk-Steensig, Helga, and Alexander Gilder. “Some Thoughts on Academic Publishing for Early Career Researchers.” European Journal of Legal Studies, 14(2) (2022): 1.

Book Reviews
‘Globalising transitional justice: Contemporary Essays’ by Ruti Teitel.’ International Journal on Rule of Law, Transitional Justice og Human Rights. Vol. 8. December
2017. Pp 148-155.

Blogs and reports
Molbæk-Steensig: ‘No democracy without human rights – On the pressure on democracy and the rule of law in Europe’ In: Report on Prisons and the Concept of Human Rights: The Island of Santo Stefano and the Development of Human Rights in Europe. 2023.pp 69-81.

Steininger, Silvia and Helga Molbæk-Steensig: ‘ Favourite Readings 2022 – A Collection of First Academic Books’ 31.12.2022. EJIL:Talk! Available:

Molbæk-Steensig: ‘Did we solve the case load problem? Russia’s exit from the ECtHR’. 24.03.2022. EUIdeas. Available:

Molbæk-Steensig: ‘Is Denmark (still) a good-faith interpreter with legitimate aims?’. 21.11.2021. Strasbourg Observers. Available at: 

Molbæk-Steensig: Particularities in the challenge to the rule of law in Eastern Europe. 25.3.2020. Populism Archives. Constitutionalism and Politics Blog EUI. Available at: 

Molbæk-Steensig: ‘Something Rotten in the State of Denmark?’. 26.4.2018. Verfassungsblog. Available at:, DOI:

Full courses
2017-2019: Legal philosophy and legal sociology. Copenhagen University Faculty of law. 

2016-2018: Fundamental rights of the individual in the Danish Constitution and in the European Convention on Human Rights. Copenhagen University Faculty of law.

Short Courses
2019: Populism & Nationalism. People’s University (Folkeuniversitetet). Copenhagen University.

2019: Foreign policy of the EU. People’s University (Folkeuniversitetet). University of Southern Denmark, Kolding. 

Guest lecturer
University of Messina, Institute of Political Science and Law: The European Court of Human Rights and the National Margin of Appreciation. May 2023.

University of Messina, Institute of Political Science and Law: ‘The Kelsen-Schmitt debate and the Grundnorm in the international legal system’. April 2023.

Leipzig Univeristy, International Summer School on Human Rights Protection under the ECHR: The reform process at the ECtHR. September 2019

Sarajevo University, International Sarajevo Summer School: The populist threat to transitional justice. July 2017.

Copenhagen University, Institute of Cross-Cultural studies: Minority rights in Croatia. November 2016.