Human Rights

As defined by its constitution, one the objects of the ECBA is to promote the administration of justice and human rights under the rule of law within the member states of the Council of Europe and among the peoples of the world. Throughout the years the ECBA has been following Criminal Proceedings’ Human Rights’ issues.

If you know of any issue that should be brought to our attention, please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The increasing involvement of the ECBA in advocacy for Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings has led the ECBA to appoint a Human Rights Officer (HRO). The Human Rights Officer (HRO) will be the contact person for Human Rights’ issues, including  possible interventions by the ECBA before the ECtHR, and will represent the ECBA in activities such as trial observations.

The first ECBA-HRO was the Advisory Board Member Scott Crosby. Scott was a long time member of the ECBA and had a wide experience in taking cases to the European Court of Human Rights. The ECBA is very sad to report that Scott Crosby passed away on 25 April 2020.  Alexis Anagnostakis has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the ECBA as the next HR Officer on 21 September 2020. 

Given that the demands of human rights law for the work of the ECBA were steadily increasing and could not be adequately met by the Human Rights Officer alone the Executive and Advisory boards of the ECBA decided at the meeting of 21 April 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic, to establish a human rights committee.

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) comprise the undernoted persons:

Nicola Canestrini   Nancy Hollander
Vânia Costa Ramos   Tomasz Kodrzycki
Walter De Agostino   Ondrej Laciak
Marius Dietrichson   Mihai Mares
Paul Garlick   Jonathan Mitchell
Thomas Garner   Rebecca Niblock
Sergey Golubok   Kevin Roberts
Robin Grey   Alex Tinsley
Maria Hessen Jacobsen    


The ECBA co-signed a Petition to the UN Special Rapporteurs requesting their urgent action ahead of the next hearing in the criminal trial of those accused of killing lawyer Tahir Elçi, President of Diyarbakir Bar Association in Turkey.

We urge to ensure a fair trial by an impartial and independent tribunal (respecting the procedural rights of Tahir Elçi’s family), as well as carry out a prompt, effective, impartial, and independent investigation into his death.

Tahir was a key figure in the advancement of human rights in Turkey: he fought against the culture of impunity for decades – and in order to honour his legacy, impunity must not be allowed to prevail in the case of his murder.

The Statement addresses some of the critical challenges faced by lawyers there in practising their profession, in particular the cases of lawyers who have been intimidated or subject to disciplinary proceedings and criminal prosecution. There is consistent systematic failure to implement ECHR Judgments on disbarment and denial of admission to the local Bar Associations.

The ECBA members unite their voices to raise awareness about the number of lawyers who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened and persecuted. We consider that:

The role and duty of lawyers to represent their clients must be respected;

No executive or judicial authority should initiate or threaten lawyers with criminal, administrative, economic, or other sanctions, for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics;

It is an absolute necessity for us to initiate and further develop national and international synergies and undertake the necessary action about ways to protect lawyers.

Click here for the petition.