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:

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 “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 receivers of the ECBA Human Rights Award 2020 are 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

The ECBA signed a joint statement issued at the initiative of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH), in favour of the Gezi Defendants. 

The verdict of the Gezi Trial was handed down on 25 April 2022. This trial has been ongoing for years and is one of the most striking examples of the absence of an independent judiciary in Turkey.

The Istanbul 13th Assize Court found Osman Kavala guilty of an alleged attempt to overthrow the government pursuant to Article 312/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. He is a prominent human rights defender who has been unlawfully imprisoned since November 2017. The court ordered his detention pending an appeal in relation to this conviction, while acquitting him of the charge of espionage, and released him -on paper- for the later charge.

All the other defendants who were present before the court were sentenced to 18 years in prison on the charge of aiding the alleged attempt against the government. They include the lawyer Can Atalay, Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi. The court went on to adopt a harsh and rarely applied order of the arrest and detention of this group of defendants. They were arrested immediately after the hearing.

More details on the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch pages.


The ECBA issues a Statement condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, calling for the end of the war and investigation of any acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes committed within the territory of Ukraine. 

The ECBA is receiving distressing information from our Ukrainian colleagues through these difficult times and we stand by them, at the side of the Ukrainian people. We also support our Russian colleagues who are speaking out bravely against this illegal war despite the threat of retaliation or punishment.

The ECBA deplores reports of indiscriminate attacks affecting civilian infrastructure and residential buildings. We explicitly urge the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim A. A. Khan QC, to exercise his jurisdiction under article 13 of the Rome Statute and investigate any acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes committed within the territory of Ukraine.

(© Artem Kniaz, Unsplash)