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Who are Fair Trials?

Fair Trials is an international NGO that fights for fair and equal criminal justice systems. We are independent experts who work to defend everyone’s right to a fair trial. We highlight threats to justice, build partnerships for reform, and campaign for practical changes that fix failings within criminal justice systems.

Fair Trials has offices in Brussels, London and Washington DC.

About us

Fair Trials is an international NGO that campaigns for fair and equal criminal justice systems.

What we do

Our team of independent experts expose threats to justice through original research and identify practical changes to fix them. We campaign to change laws, support strategic litigation, reform policy and develop international standards and best practice.  We do this by supporting local movements for reform and building partnerships with lawyers, activists, academics and other NGOs.

Where we work

Our vision is global but we are currently focused on campaigning for fair and equal justice systems in Europe, Latin America, the UK and the US. We are the only international NGO that campaigns exclusively for the right to a fair trial, which gives us a comparative perspective on how to tackle failings within criminal justice systems globally.

Our registered offices in Brussels, London and Washington DC are currently closed because of COVID-19. This means that we can’t access our offices to pick up post. A copy of all mail (including registered post) should be sent to us by email at [email protected].

Funding and governance

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 help we provide. Fair Trials is governed by a board of volunteer Trustees, responsible for the charity’s strategic direction and financial management.

Our history

Human rights lawyer, Stephen Jakobi OBE, founded Fair Trials (then Fair Trials Abroad) in 1992, in response to high-profile cases of injustice across the globe. Today, Fair Trials campaigns for the broader reform of legal systems so that we can have a greater impact and protect more people’s right to a fair trial. Recent successes include playing a leading role in the reform of INTERPOL and the development of criminal procedural rights as directly enforceable laws in every EU member state.                                                                                                                         

Charitable and legal status

“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).  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.

Accounts

Below you can download our most recent accounts.

Fair Trials Accounts

Policies

Privacy policy

Safeguarding policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARTNERS

Fair Trials builds partnerships with lawyers, activists, academics and other NGOs. Combining our expertise with local knowledge, we support and build movements for reform that raise awareness of threats to justice and find practical ways to fix them. 

Networks

We build and support networks for criminal justice reform.

Our LEAP network works to promote fair trial rights in Europe. It brings together over 200 organisational members representing law firms, civil society organisations, and academic institutions from across the 27 EU Member States. If you are interested in joining LEAP, please contact Ioana Barbulescu ioana[dot]barbulescu[at]fairtrials[dot]net 

Red de Defensores/as Democraticos/as (REDD) is a network of defence lawyers and criminal justice and human rights experts in Mexico. It was created by Fair Trials and the Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal, and is funded by the Swedish Postcode Lottery. REDD fights against torture in Mexico, promotes the right to a fair trial and develops effective litigation tools for the exclusion of evidence obtained under torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Partners

We support and work with partners all over the world to advance fairness, justice and equality in criminal legal systems through a range of different projects, campaigns and litigation. Some of our existing and recent non-profit partners are listed below. 

Africa

APCOF

Europe

Antigone (Italy)

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

Centre for European Constitutional Law (Greece)

Centre for Peace Studies (Croatia)

Centre for European Policy Studies

Civil Rights Defenders (Sweden)

Croatian Law Centre

EIPA Luxembourg - European Centre for Judges and Lawyers

European Roma Rights Centre

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland)

Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania)

Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

KISA (Cyprus)

Kosovo Law Institute

KU Leuven

Ligue des Droits Humains (Belgium)

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute

Mirovni Institute (Slovenia)

Netherlands Helsinki Committee

Res Publica (Albania)

Rights International Spain

Latin America:

IDDD

IJPP

United Kingdom

National Appropriate Adults Network

REDRESS

Transform Justice

University of Exeter

University of Northumbria

United States

American Bar Association

Fair & Just Prosecution

NORC (University of Chicago)

Urban Institute

 

    Legal Experts

    Fair Trials' networks of legal experts help us to raise awareness of threats to justice, build partnerships for reform, and campaign for practical changes that fix failings within criminal justice systems.

    Our LEAP network works to promote fair trial rights in Europe. It brings together over 200 organisational members representing law firms, civil society organisations, and academic institutions from across the 27 EU Member States.

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

     

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    FOUNDER AND PATRONS

    STEPHEN JAKOBI OBE

    FOUNDER PATRON

    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.


    RT HON LORD FALCONER OF THOROTON QC

    PATRON

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


    PAOLO IORIO

    PATRON

    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 OF EWELME, GCMG

    PATRON

    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 LIPSCOMB OBE

    PATRON

    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.


    BARONESS SARAH LUDFORD

    PATRON

    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.


    RT HON LORD MACKAY OF CLASHFERN QC

    PATRON

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


    BIRGIT SIPPEL MEP

    PATRON

    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 WALLASCH

    PATRON

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


    HANS WARENDORF

    PATRON

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

    Keep up to date

    Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

    Some activities in the following sections on this website are funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020): Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides, Resources, Campaigns, Publications, News and Events. This content represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. It cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.