In Memoriam Michael Ratner

2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the passing away of its President Emeritus Michael Ratner (1943-2016), who had made CCR his political home for 40 years.
In 2007, together with Michael Ratner, Lotte Leicht and others Wolfgang Kaleck co-founded ECCHR in Berlin, of which Michael became Chairman, continuously inspiring and helping shape ECCHR’s vision. Considered among the most visionary and influential human rights lawyers of our time, Michael’s legacy is living on through organizations like CCR and ECCHR.
With the colloquium "Challenging the powerful with legal means" (3 November 2016 in Berlin) and surrounded by leading CCR figures and friends of Michael, ECCHR honored his and CCR’s fascinating heritage, and reflected on our current struggles for human rights and social justice in today’s globalized and capitalist-driven societies.
Every session of the colloquium therefore addressed two aspects: first, a look into a selection of issues, movements and cases that have marked CCR’s and Michael’s work, and second, the human rights lawyering practical lessons that can be drawn from that.

From the streets to the courtrooms: The origins of CCR

Against all odds: Challenging imperialism

Creative lawyering and the discovery of the Alien Tort Claims Act

Transnational collaborative lawyering: Fighting corporations

Hate mail: a theatrical interlude

“Filing 100% on principle”: Post 9/11 legal sagas

Back to the streets: Black Lives Matter

Concluding Panel Discussion - Closing Spaces and Strategic Human Rights