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. As Scott Crosby sadly passed away on 25 April 2020, Alexis Anagnostakis has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the ECBA as the actual 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:


Amedeo Barletta   Nancy Hollander
Elena Borsacchi   Ondrej Laciak
Nicola Canestrini   Salomé Lemasson
Federico Cappelletti   Mihai Mares
Vânia Costa Ramos   Ales Michalevic
Walter De Agostino   Jonathan Mitchell
Marius Dietrichson   Rebecca Niblock
Paul Garlick   Kevin Roberts
Thomas Garner   Sylvain Savolainen
William Glover   Tobias Stadarfeld Jensen
Robin Grey   Alex Tinsley 
Maria Hessen Jacobsen    


The ECBA “Scott Crosby” Human Rights Award 

The ECBA and their Human Rights Committee have decided to institutionalize the ECBA Human Rights Award, named after our late friend and passionate human rights activist Scott Crosby, to be awarded once a year to distinguished lawyers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice to uphold fundamental values.

The objective of the ECBA is to honour the efforts of lawyers and at the same time raise awareness of the core values of the legal profession. 

The 2023 ECBA HR Award went to two remarkable women - Françoise Tulkens, a distinguished Belgian lawyer and a respected expert in criminal law, former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights and Nancy Hollander, a renowned U.S. criminal defense lawyer, known for her fearless representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees and the prominent whistleblower, Chelsea Manning. The award ceremony will take place at the Spring Conference 2024 in Brussels, as none of them were not able to attend the ECBA Autumn Conference 2023.

The ECBA Scott Crosby Human Rights Award 2022, handed by Vincent Asselineau, ECBA Chair, and Alexis Anagnostakis, HR Officer, went to the Ukrainian National Bar Association, represented at the Autumn Conference by Dr. Valentyn Gvozdiy, Vice President of the UNBA and ECBA member. The award honours the efforts of the Ukrainian lawyers for their determination and sacrifice in times of war, to uphold fundamental values and the rule of law in their country during the current impermissible military aggression against Ukraine. 


The receivers of the ECBA Human Rights Award 2021 were Judge Igor Tuleya and the Dean of the Warsaw Bar Association, lawyer Mikołaj Pietrzak, both from Poland.

HR Officer Alexis Anagnostakis, ECBA Chair Vincent Asselineau and Polish lawyer Mikołaj Pietrzak


 © Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

The European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) is deeply concerned about the imprisonment of several dedicated lawyers in Belarus, who have been targeted for their commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and the right to legal assistance.

Vitaly Brahinets, a highly experienced criminal lawyer and member of the Minsk Regional Bar Association, Aliaksandr Danilevich, a prominent Belarusian lawyer specializing in international commercial arbitration and sports law, Maxim Znak, a lawyer associated with the Borovtsov & Salei Law Firm in Minsk, played a critical role in providing legal support to presidential candidate Viktor Babaryko, are being kept in prison.

The imprisonment of these lawyers, who worked to uphold the principles of justice, poses a grave concern. According to reports, they have faced unjust legal processes and have been deprived of their freedom for the mere act of carrying out their professional duties. The ECBA urges the Belarusian authorities to fully adhere to international human rights standards, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We demand an immediate end to the persecution of these lawyers and thorough, independent, and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations. 

You can read the full Statement here.





The European Criminal Association joins the call and signs the statement to take concrete and urgent action in the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, prominent and well-known Iranian lawyer and human rights defender.

On Sunday, 29 October, the media broke the news that she had been arrested while attending the funeral of Armita Garavand, the 16-year-old girl who died after 28 days in a coma following her arrest by the infamous Morality Police in the Tehran metro.

She was taken along with other arrested women to the Vozara detention centre, the same one in which Mahsa Amini died last year.

She was scheduled to be heard in her case on Monday, 30 October, at Evin prison, but was not brought to court because she refused to wear a veil.

She was then taken to Qarchak prison, known for its poor conditions of detention, and is currently on a hunger strike in protest, refusing both essential medication for her health and visits.

Click here to read the whole Statement.