In Memoriam Michael Ratner (1943-2016)

By Wolfgang Kaleck
In New York in summer 2004 I had the good fortune of getting to know Michael, who was at that time President of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). We were working together on a criminal complaint against US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. We became friends and Michael inspired and encouraged us to found the ECCHR. Read more

The Leading Progressive Lawyer of a Generation

Friends, lawyers, academics and journalists honor Michael Ratner's lifework and legacy. Read more

ECCHR mourns the loss of Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner (1943-2016) was a co-founder of ECCHR and served as chairman of the Council.

Michael Ratner with Lotte Leicht (Human Rights Watch, Brussels and member of ECCHR's Council) and Wolfgang Kaleck (ECCHR's General Secretary) presenting the Annual Report 2014 in Berlin.

Wolfgang Kaleck, ECCHR's General Secretary: "I'm deeply sad. I have lost a longstanding and important personal friend."

Michael Ratner at a rally to protest aid to the Nicaraguan Contras in 1984 in New York.

Michael Ratner with Luis Guillermo Pérez Casas (President of CAJAR from Colombia) and Wolgang Kaleck at ECCHR's annual alumni meeting 2014 in Berlin.

Michael Ratner during one of his many visits to ECCHR in Berlin. We are grateful for the time with him an we will carry on his work and legacy.

Passing of Michael Ratner

11 May 2016 - We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Michael Ratner on 11 May 2016. With his passing ECCHR loses a longstanding and important friend and mentor.
Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York, was one of the co-founders of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and lent his valuable support to our organization's work over many years. Most recently he served as chairman of the ECCHR Council. We are thankful for the time with him and for his untiring and fearless dedication to human rights around the world.

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Spain’s push-back practice finally lands before Court

17 December 2015 - On 21 December 2015 Spain must appear before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg to defend its systematic push-backs at the EU’s external borders. The Court called on Spain to set out the legal basis for the push-backs it has been carrying out along the Spanish/Moroccan border. The case concerns the expulsion of two refugees, originally from Mali and the Ivory Coast, from Spanish territory on 13 August 2014. With the support of ECCHR, the two men lodged a complaint against Spain to the ECtHR in February 2015. 

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Bayer and Syngenta pesticides endanger tens of thousands in Punjab (India)

13 October 2015 - Transnational chemical corporations Bayer and Syngenta are involved in the sale of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) in India but fail to ensure that farmers are adequately informed about the dangers of the pesticides or the necessary safety measures. This is documented in a new report submitted to the Panel of Experts at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization by the ECCHR together with four other organisations from Asia and Europa. A new video  outlines various possibilities for legal intervention to ban HHPs.

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