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Who are Fair Trials?

Fair Trials does not aspire to be a huge global organisation with offices or employed experts across the globe. Instead, we act as a small hub of expertise on fair trials, with our experienced staff based in London, Brussels and Washington, D.C. working in partnership with the best local experts across the regions.

Our work is also generously supported by a large number of professionals, who give freely of their time and expertise, notably working with a number of international law firms across a range of areas. 


Fair Trials does not aspire to be a huge global organisation with offices or employed experts across the globe. Instead, we act as a small hub of expertise on fair trials, working in partnership with the best local experts.

It is crucial for us to collaborate with the best local experts, in order to understand the underlying causes of injustice, design workable solutions and build local, public and political support for reform.

Fair Trials would not be able to have any impact globally without the work of our partners. Combining our expertise with their local knowledge, our regional projects are able to affect real change. Together we work to shine a light on fair trials abuses, wherever they happen and whoever they affect. Fair Trials current partners include:


Hungarian Helsinki Committee


The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) was established in 1989. Since then, the HHC has been monitoring whether rights that are assured by domestic law can be effectively exercised, and whether Hungarian legislation guarantees the rights that it should under either international treaties or the general principles of human rights. They are currently partners on our ongoing projects on pre-trial detention and practitioner training.


APADOR-CH, Romania

APADOR-Wide.pngThe Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation, established in 1990.

APADOR-CH seeks to be an influential and principled factor of reference, in dialogue with the state authorities and in cooperation with civil society, an active participant in changing the society and its institutions towards a democratic culture, based on the respect of human rights. They are currently partners on our ongoing projects on pre-trial detention and practitioner training.


Associazione Antigone, Italy

antigone-logo-300x67.pngAssociazione Antigone is an non-governmental organisation based in Rome, focusing on the protection of rights and guarantees in the penal system.

Formed in the late 1980’s, Antigone promotes debate on the models of criminal and procedural law in Italy as well as raising awareness of key issues within the legal environment of the country.

They are currently partners on our ongoing project on pre-trial detention.



OpenGov Hub


The OpenGov Hub is a co-working community in Washington, D.C. and a network of organizations promoting transparency, accountability, and civic engagement around the world.



Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa

IDDD_Logo_em_alta_FAzul.jpgThe Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa is a civil society organization that works to strengthen the Right of Defense. The IDDD's mission is to foster in society and in state institutions the idea that everyone has the right to a quality defense, to the principle of presumption of innocence, and to have full access to justice. 


Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal, Asociación Civil (IJPP)

mWL05LGK_400x400.jpgInstituto de Justicia Procesal Penal, Asociación Civil (IJPP), has for over a decade promoted respect for human rights in the criminal justice system in Mexico.

It works in particular, on access to justice for adults and adolescents in conflict with the criminal law, the principle of presumption of innocence, the rational use of "pre-trial detention", the implementation of pre-trial services, and effective criminal defense.

Legal Experts

Fair Trials has a growing number of experienced legal staff, but we wouldn't be able to do a fraction of the work we achieve without our networks of legal experts. 

We can’t talk about Fair Trials and legal experts, and not recognise the huge contribution that is made by members of our LEAP network to help us achieve our goals in Europe. You can read about them in their own section of the website

We also receive extensive pro-bono support from a number of international law firms, including:




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Stephen founded Fair Trials International (then Fair Trials Abroad) in 1992, in response to the case of Karyn Smith, a British national in Thailand. Stephen is an internationally-recognised human rights lawyer.



Lord Falconer is a Labour politician, former Lord Chancellor (2003-2007) and a member of the United Kingdom House of Lords.



Paolo is the Chairman of Avocats Sans Frontieres (Italy), an organisation supporting the human rights of individuals involved in legal proceedings across the world.



Lord Jay is a former British diplomat, and was British Ambassador to France (1996-2001). He was Head of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2001-2005). He is currently Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.



Peter was Chair of Fair Trials International from 2007 until 2013. Peter is also Chairman of the Marston’s Pension Trust and was Chairman of The Kingston Grammar School Foundation.  He was formerly a senior executive with Guinness plc and Diageo plc.



Sarah is a Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords. She was a Member of the European Parliament for London from 1999 until June 2014, and during this time was the party’s European spokeswoman on justice and human rights and a leading member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.



Lord Mackay is a Scottish advocate, former Lord Chancellor (1987-1997) and Conservative member of the United Kingdom House of Lords.



Birgit is a German MEP from the Socialists & Democrats. She sits on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee and has acted as the Parliament’s Rapporteur on the draft Directive regarding the right to information on arrest.



Oliver is a practising attorney at Wallasch & Koch in Frankfurt. Oliver specialises in criminal defence work, extradition proceedings and international criminal law.



Hans is a former member of the Amsterdam Bar and a legal translator. He is also a former Trustee of FTI.

The Organisation

Our vision: A world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected.

Our mission: To work for fair trials according to internationally-recognised standards of justice.

Fair Trials is a human rights organisation that works to improve respect for the fundamental human right to a fair trial.

We believe the right to a fair trial is an essential part of a just society. Each person accused of a crime should have their guilt or innocence determined by a fair and effective legal process. But the right to a fair trial is not just about protecting suspects and defendants; it also makes societies safer and stronger. Without fair trials, trust in justice and in government collapses.

Despite the importance of fair trials being recognised by the international community, this basic human right is being abused day-in-day-out in countries across the globe. We’re working to put an end to these abuses, towards realising our vision of a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected.

What does Fair Trials do?

Identify. Alert. Resolve.

  • We coordinate and support a global network of people working in criminal justice, so that we know exactly what’s going on the ground.
  • We collate and compare global trends in criminal justice.
  • When we identify injustice, we lobby policy-makers and global justice institutions for change.

We are working towards an ambitious global goal. We won’t get there overnight, and we can’t make it on our own. But with each step we take towards our vision of a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected, we are protecting people against miscarriages of justice and building fair and effective criminal justice systems that benefit everyone. 

Charity Information 

Our registered offices in Brussels, London and Washington DC are shut for the time being due to COVID-19. With very tight travel restrictions, it may not be possible to access the office to pick up post. A copy of all mail (including registered post) should be sent to us by email at [email protected].

Fair Trials is an independent non-profit organisation with no party-political affiliations. We are funded by a combination of charitable grants and donations. We do not receive core funding from any government and are not paid for any of the assistance we provide. Fair Trials is governed by a board of volunteer Trustees, responsible for the charity’s strategic direction and financial management.

Fair Trials has offices in London, Brussels, and Washington D.C., and employs a small team of expert staff. We benefit from the generous support of volunteers, who give freely of their time and expertise, and we rely on the expertise and collaboration of local expert partners and on our networks of fair trial defenders.

See our safeguarding policy here.

“Fair Trials” includes Fair Trials International, Fair Trials Europe, and Fair Trials Americas. Fair Trials International is a registered charity (no. 1134586) and in 2010 was incorporated with limited liability in England and Wales (No. 7135273), and is based at 5 Castle Road, London, NW1 8PR. In May 2014, Fair Trials International founded Fair Trials Europe, which is a registered public foundation in Belgium (registered number 0552.688.677). In 2018 we founded Fair Trials Americas, which is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States of America (No DLN17053243307017). Read more about our work in the US here. We were initially founded in 1992 with the name “Fair Trials Abroad”.

Fair Trials International is registered with the Dutch Tax Inspectorate for tax exempt status. Its RSIN (Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverband en Informatienummer) number is 8238.23.593.

Learn more

Please contact us if you’d like to receive a printed copy of the Annual Review.

Download an introduction to Fair Trials here.

This provides an overview of our recent work, detailing our achievements, and our vision for the future of the organisation.

Current Charity Information

Below you can download our most recent accounts.

FTI accounts 2017-18

Fair Trials International’s full accounts for the year ending March 31st 2018.

Key Stats


94% of Fair Trials spending goes into charitable activities (2013/2014)


The number of lawyers, NGOs and academic members in our legal expert network


We have helped over 100 nationalities in over 120 different countries in the last 5 years

"Thank you for providing such great work for people like me in such hard times"

Maltese client detained in Spain

Legal Experts Advisory Panel


Social Media – How to stay in touch with us

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

Activities in the following sections on this website are supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union: Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides and Latest News. More information about our financial supporters is available here.