Who we are

To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.

Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.


Explosive Verdict in Germany: German Arms Export Controls Have Deadly Gaps

German Federal Court of Justice pronounces its judgement in the case of illegal arms exports by Heckler & Koch to Mexico

In the case of illegal arms exports by Heckler & Koch (H&K) to Mexico, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe today rejected the appeals by the prosecutor’s office and the defendants respectively, thus largely confirming the verdict from the previous instance. More than three million euros will be confiscated from Heckler & Koch of revenues from the illegal deal. End-use declarations were judged not to be part of export licences under the War Weapons Control Act. This is a landmark ruling that puts a match to the entire German arms export control system.


Ramstein before the constitutional court

Germany’s responsibility in US drone strikes in Yemen

Two Yemeni men whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike filed a complaint with Germany’s highest court. The case deals with Germany’s responsibility to protect the bin Ali Jaber family from further attacks involving the US Ramstein Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate.


Al-Khatib trial in Koblenz

Sexual violence now indicted as crimes against humanity

The Koblenz Higher Regional Court updated the charges against main defendant Anwar R in the so-called al-Khatib trial. Incidents of sexual violence in the al-Khatib department are now indicted as acts of crimes against humanity committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population in Syria, not - as before - merely as individual cases under German criminal law.


European Parliament human rights due diligence legislative report

Further improvements required

BRUSSELS/BERLIN - With a large majority, yesterday, members of the European Parliament adopted a legislative report on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability for human rights violations and environmental damages. The report gives concrete recommendations to the European Commission that has announced its proposal for an EU due diligence law for summer 2021. While the adoption of the report is a significant step towards a future law, it needs further improvements to effectively prevent human rights violations in corporate operations and supply chains.


Groundbreaking decision for victims of Italian weapon airstrikes in Yemen

Investigation into responsibility of RWM Italia SpA and Italy’s National Authority for the Export of Armament (UAMA) in deadly airstrike continues

The preliminary investigations judge in Rome ruled yesterday that the public prosecutor in Rome must continue the criminal investigation into managers of RWM Italia SpA, a German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall AG’s Italian subsidiary, and senior officials of Italy’s National Authority for the Export of Armament (UAMA) for their role in a deadly Saudi/United Arab Emirates-led military coalition airstrike in Deir Al-Ḩajārī in northwest Yemen.

Press Contact

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu