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About the Award

Every year since 2007, the CCBE has granted a Human Rights Award. The objective of the CCBE is to honour distinguished lawyers/lawyers’ organisations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice to uphold fundamental values. It is an effective and useful tool to raise awareness of the core values of the legal profession. The Award is officially delivered to the winner by the CCBE President at the Plenary Session.

CCBE Human Rights Awards 2020


At its online Plenary Session on 27 November, the CCBE granted its CCBE Human Rights Award 2020 to Egyptians lawyers Haytham Mohammadein, Hoda Abdelmoniem, Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, Mahienour El-Massry, Mohamed El-Baqer, Mohamed Ramadan and Zyad El-Eleimy for their courage, determination and commitment to defending human rights in Egypt.





In addition to its 2020 Human Rights Award, the CCBE exceptionally granted a posthumous Human Rights Award to Turkish lawyer Ebru Timtik who died following the hunger strike she started fighting for and defending the right to a fair trial in Turkey.


Previous CCBE Human Rights Awards

At its Plenary Session in Brussels on 29 November, the CCBE granted its 2019 Human Rights Award to Iranian lawyers Nasrin Sotoudeh, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Najafi and Amirsalar Davoudi for their courage, determination and commitment to defending human rights in Iran - where all forms of opposition, be it ideological or political, are not tolerated.

Given the situation of these four lawyers who are currently detained in Iran, three of them accepted that Ms. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Peace Nobel Prize, receive the Award symbolically  in their name. 

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierPress kit

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierPress coverage

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierSpeech Shirin Ebadi

At its Plenary Session in Lille on 29 November, the CCBE granted its 2018 Human Rights Award to Polish lawyer, Mikołaj Pietrzak, for his exceptional involvement and continuous work in support of human rights and the Rule of Law.

Mikołaj Pietrzak speech

Press release

At its Plenary Session in Brussels on 24 November, the CCBE granted its 2017 Human Rights Award to Georgian lawyer Zaza Khatiashvili for his outstanding work in support of persecuted lawyers in Georgia.

Press release

On 2 December, the CCBE granted its 2016 Human Rights Award to four Turkish lawyers - Ayşe Bingöl Demir, Ayşe Acinikli, Ramazan Demir and posthumously to Tahir Elçi - who have been particularly active in the defence of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey.  

The Human Rights award 2015 was granted to Mr Intigam Aliyev, an Azerbaijani human rights lawyer who has devoted his life to protecting the rights of individuals against the repressive system of the Azerbaijani government, and to Fengrui, a Chinese law firm which was particularly targeted by the attacks on human rights defenders which took place in July 2015.


The Human Rights award 2014 was granted to Ms Valdênia Aparecida Paulino Lanfranchi, honouring her life’s work in defence of the most vulnerable in the disenfranchised areas of São Paulo, Brazil.

The Human Rights award 2013 was granted to the President and Bar Council members of the Istanbul Bar Association in recognition of their outstanding commitment, perseverance and courage in support of human rights in Turkey.


The Human Rights award 2012 was granted to Mr. Pavel Sapelko, in recognition of his unwavering involvement  in campaigning for human rights in Belarus.

The Human Rights award 2011 was granted to Mr. Abderrazak Kilani, in his capacity as President of the Tunisian Bar Association, for his commitment and that of his Bar to human rights, in particular during the Jasmine Revolution (2010-2011).

The human rights award 2010, was granted to Mexican lawyers David Peña Rodríguez and Karla Micheel Salas Ramírez, members of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD). David Peña Rodríguez and Karla Micheel Salas Ramírez were the lawyers representing the families of the victims of the uninvestigated assassinations of women in the Campo Algodonero case, also known as Ciudad Juárez femicides.

The human rights award 2009, was granted posthumously to assassinated Russian lawyer Stanislav Markelov.

The human rights award 2008, was granted to Li Heping, a well-known Chinese lawyer, and to the group of Spanish lawyers who represented defendants and victims in the trial following the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings.

The Award was granted for the first time in 2007 to the lawyers’ organisation Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF).

More information about the award


Why create a CCBE Human Rights award for European Lawyers?

There are numerous human rights awards that exist at international level, but only a few honour lawyers in particular. Moreover, there is currently no human rights award especially designed to recognise the work of European lawyers.


Who can be granted the CCBE Human Rights award?

The CCBE award is granted to a lawyer or lawyers’ organisation that has brought honour to the legal profession by upholding the highest values of professional and personal conduct in the field of human rights. The field of human rights is interpreted in the broadest way (this allows, for example, the possibility to grant the award to a lawyer who is the victim of human rights violations). The award is, by preference, granted to a European lawyer/lawyers’ organisation. However, there are no geographical limits for the granting of the award.


Procedure for the nomination of candidates for the CCBE Human Rights award

  • Candidates for the award shall be nominated only through the CCBE’s member or observer Bars and Law Societies.
  • The CCBE Human Rights Committee shall be responsible for considering the submissions and for submitting a proposal regarding the winner to the Standing Committee.
  • The Standing Committee shall be responsible for taking the decision to attribute the award to a candidate.



  • Beginning of February: The call for nominations is circulated to the CCBE delegations
  • End of April: Deadline for the CCBE delegations to submit candidacies
  • Mai: The candidacies are considered by the Human Rights Committee
  • September: The winner is selected by the Standing Committee on the basis of the Human Rights Committee proposals
  • November: The prize is officially presented to the winner by the CCBE President at the Plenary Session