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   Tomasz Kodrzycki
Vânia Costa Ramos   Ondrej Laciak
Walter De Agostino   Mihai Mares
Marius Dietrichson   Ales Michalevic
Paul Garlick   Jonathan Mitchell
Thomas Garner   Rebecca Niblock
Sergey Golubok   Luzia Prata Cordeiro
Robin Grey   Kevin Roberts
Omar Hegazi   Sylvain Savolainen
Maria Hessen Jacobsen   Alex Tinsley
Nancy Hollander    


The ECBA participated to a Legal Fact Finding mission in Istanbul from 15 to 20 September, through its HR Committee member Maria Hessen Jacobsen from the Norwegian Bar Association.

Among other monitoring activities, she observed a hearing in the trial against Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD) members Barkin Timtik and Selçuk Kozağaçlı.

The ECBA signed the press release regarding the mass trials against lawyers in Turkey, together with other European colleagues. As the CoE Human Rights Commissioner stated after the death of hunger striking CHD member Ebru Timtik in August 2020, the ECBA believes that the lawyers in CHD are targeted by criminal proceedings in connection with the exercise of their professional activities.

We stand in solidarity with our Turkish colleagues, demanding a fair trial and that Turkish authorities respect the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.




International observers on their way to the Istanbul Court House

Kandira high security prison for women

Maria Hessen Jacobsen (Norway), ECBA Human Rights Committee member and Mehmet Durakoğlu,
President of the Istanbul Bar Association

Together with 30 lawyers’ organizations, bar associations and human rights organisations, the European Criminal Bar Association signed a joint statement on the escalating attacks against lawyers in the Philippines. The statement was an initiative from Lawyers for Lawyers.