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    


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.

The first annual “International Fair Trial Day” (IFTD) took place this 14 June 2021. Several international bar associations and lawyers' organisations have come together to organise this annual event. The focus country chosen for the inaugural International Fair Trial Day was Turkey.

The IFTD Ebru Timtik Award created for this occasion recognises an individual or an organisation who makes or has made an exceptional contribution towards securing fair trial rights in the country on which the IFTD focuses on that specific year. The first one was symbolically awarded to the late Turkish lawyer Ebru Timtik.

As a keynote speaker, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Diego Garcia-Sayan, stressed the crucial importance of the right to a fair trial in democratic societies governed by the Rule of Law.

Following the inaugural IFTD this 14 June the Steering Group issued a statement, signed by the ECBA and other supporting organisations, that includes a call for specific actions to be taken in Turkey to protect and promote the right to a fair trial in the country.