Mr Thorbjørn Jagland

Secretary General, Council of Europe









September 2009.  In June 2014, he was re-elected, and his second term in office commenced on 1 October, 2014. He was the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) from 2005 to 2009. He is a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year.

He has held two of the most influential governmental positions in Norway: Prime Minister (1996-97) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001). After serving as Foreign Minister, he was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and the enlarged Foreign Affairs Committee in the Storting for four years (2001-2005).

He also served as Chairman of the EEA Consultative Committee during this period (2000-2005). In addition, he has held a number of other parliamentary positions, such as head of the Storting's Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament for six years. He was a member of the Storting for 15 years. Mr Jagland was Leader of the Norwegian Labour Party for ten years (1992-2002), and Party Secretary of the Labour Party for five years (1987-1992).

He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oslo centre for Peace and Human Rights, and Member of the International Board of Governors at the Peres Center for Peace. He served as Vice-President of the Socialist International 1999-2008, and Chair of the Social International Middle East Committee from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-finding Commission (The Mitchell Commission) from 2000 to 2001.

Over the last 20 years, Mr Jagland has published widely on a range of issues, in particular on European and international affairs. He has published four books in Norway: My European Dream (1990), Letters (1995), Our Vulnerable World (2001) and Ten Theses on the EU and Norway (2003). He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Oslo (1975). He was born on 5 November 1950 in Drammen, Norway. He is married to Hanne Grotjord. They have two children.



Ms Lora Vidović

Ombudswoman of Croatia, ENNHRI Chair.

Lora Vidović is the Ombudswoman of Croatia and Chair of European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI).

As Ombudswoman, she is responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms as well as for the performance of the mandates of the National Equality Body and as the National Preventive Mechanism.

She has been working in the field of human rights throughout her working career, especially from the perspective of public international law, as well as on establishing the highest international human rights standards within the legal system of the Republic of Croatia.

Before she was named Ombudswoman in March 2013, she was Deputy Ombudswoman for Children from 2006 to 2010 and Head of UNICEF Office in Croatia from 2010 to 2013.

She participated on numerous international seminars, conferences and meetings related to human rights and democratization.





Session 1

Ms Françoise Tulkens

Former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights



Françoise Tulkens has a Doctorate in Law, a Master’s degree in Criminology and a Higher education teaching certificate (agrégation de l’enseignement supérieur) in Law.

She was a Professor at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and has taught, in Belgium as well as abroad – as a visiting professor at the Universities of Geneva, Leuven, Ottawa, Paris I, Rennes, Strasbourg and Louisiana State University –, in the fields of general criminal law, comparative and European criminal law, juvenile justice and human rights protection systems.

From November 1998 to September 2012, she was a Judge in the European Court of Human Rights, serving as Section President from January 2007 and as Vice-President of the Court from February 2011. She has been an Associate Member of the Belgian Royal Academy since 2011. From 2011 to 2015 she chaired the Board of Governors of the King Baudouin Foundation.

In September 2012, she took up an appointment as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Advisory Panel for Kosovo*, which completed its work in June 2016.

Since June 2013 she is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Fundamental Rights’ Agency (FRA), of which she is currently the Vice-Chair.

Françoise Tulkens is the author of many publications in the areas of human rights and criminal law and also co-author of reference books. She holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Geneva, Limoges, Ottawa, Ghent, Liège and Brighton.


Ms Jasminka Džumhur

Ombudsperson, Institution of Human Rights Ombudsmen of Bosnia and Herzegovina






Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur is a legal expert and bar-associated lawyer with over 29 years of experience in the international and BiH justice sectors.

She worked as a judge, senior court administrator, and legal technical assistance provider. Since 2008, Ms. Dzumhur is the Ombudsperson for Human Rights of Bosnia and Hererzegovina. 

Her previous and current work is related to protection and promotion of human rights with particular focus to gender-based violence, trafficking in human beings, forced disappearances.

In the period of 2001-2007 Ms. Dzumhur worked in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in BiH and realized many activities aiming to protect and promote the human rights, including drafting the amicus curie to the Human Rights Chamber and the BiH Constitution Court, delivering trainings and lectures on human rights issues.

Ms. Dzumhur also provided short-term consultancy to multiple international organizations and delivered trainings to international and local police, judges, prosecutors, social workers, NGOs, and representatives of international organizations.

She was one of the founders of the Women Association “Medica” Zenica and the Center for Legal Assistance.

She participated in writing of a numerous publications for the Center for Free Access to Information, the BiH Ombudsmen Institution, the International Commission for Missing Persons, OSCE and UNDP.

Ms. Dzumhur was a member of the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in the period 2010-2015 and its Vice-president 2014-2015.

In June 2015 she was elected to the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.


Mr Patrick Penninckx

Head of Information Society Department, Council of Europe


30 years professionally active, 25 spent at the Council of Europe, focusing on transformation processes in the Organisation, developing partnerships with other international organisations and national partners. In the field of Human Resources, Patrick was in charge of human resources policy development, transforming the administrative management of personnel to a competency based human resource policy.

Patrick also led the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe through major changes in Membership profile, flexible working methods and innovative human and financial resources management.

Currently Head of the Information Society Department under the Directorate General Human Rights and the Rule of Law at the Council of Europe. This covers Freedom of Expression, Protection of Journalists, Data Protection, Cybercrime and Digital Governance (internet Governance).

Key areas of development: Guide on Human Rights for Internet Users, revised Convention on Data Protection, new internet governance strategy and creating a common profile and identity for the Department.


Mr Matjaž Gruden

Director, Policy Planning Directorate, Council of Europe


Matjaž Gruden is Director of Policy Planning of the Council of Europe.  He previously served as Deputy Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (from October 2009 to December 2014). 

He has been Special Advisor, Spokesperson and Speechwriter of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General (from September 2005 to October 2009). He has also been Secretary of the Monitoring Committee and of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (from November 1995 to September 2005). 

Prior to his career at the Council of Europe he was Third Secretary to the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the EU (from 1993 to 1995) and Attaché at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia (1992-1993).

He holds a BA degree in International Law and International Human Rights Law from the Law Faculty of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia as well as a Post-graduate degree in EU Law from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

He is proficient in Slovene, English, French, Serbian, Croatian and Danish.



Mr Mogens Blicher Bjerregård

President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) since May 2013

Member of the Council and Bureau of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), UNESCO since November 2014

International freelance from 2015

Board member and Vice president of the International Media Support (IMS), 2001-2016

President of the Danish Union of Journalists 1999-2015

Educated journalist 1984 with experience from print media, radio and tv. Today international freelance working on capacity building of organizations, authors’ rights, ethics and code of conducts, press freedom issues and labor rights.








Session 2

Ms Ulrike Grieshofer

Executive Director of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI)


Ms Ulrike Grieshofer is the Head of the IOI General Secretariat since 2012.

Ms Grieshofer comes from a legal background: She holds a law degree from the University of Vienna (2000), and a Juridical Science Master’s degree in International Law from Stanford Law School (2001), as well as a postgraduate diploma in Human Rights Law from the University of Vienna (2004).

​From 2009 to 2012, she worked as lawyer at the Austrian Constitutional Court dealing with Asylum and Immigration Law, Data Protection and Execution of the Penal System.

She has worked at the European Court of Human Rights for two years (2007-2009), processing cases against Austria and being involved in other related activities. She mostly focused her work on issues related to Article 6, Article 8 and Article 10 of the Convention.

She has previous experience working with other NGOs/think tanks in the field of political economy and post conflict resolution, namely as Head of Administration for the European Stability Initiative (2001-2003), where she also dealt with fundraising, finances and organisational development.


Ms Adriana van Dooijeweert

Chair of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

Adriana van Dooijeweert has been President of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights since 1st September 2015. Before this, she was chair of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs.

In addition, she worked as a judge and coordinating deputy president in different sectors of the courts in Den Bosch and The Hague for almost thirty years. After working for a legal publisher for a number of years, and then for the Council of State, she became a judge in 1987.

As judge, Ms Van Dooijeweert dealt with all kinds of cases. For a number of years, she was mainly engaged in immigration law. She also worked on cases to do with the compulsory admission of psychiatric patients. Ms Van Dooijeweert succeeds Laurien Koster, who retired as president on 12th June 2015.

The president of the Institute for Human Rights is appointed for a term of six years.






M. Saša Janković

Protector of Citizens, Republic of Serbia 


Saša Janković was first elected Protector of Citizens in 2007, and is currently serving his second five-year term. From 1994 to 1997, he was a journalist in Beta Agency. From 1997 to 2000, he worked as an Expert Associate in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

From 2003 until his appointment as Protector of Citizens, he was a National Legal Advisor in the Democratization Department of OSCE Mission to Serbia, in Belgrade.

In 2005, he completed the specialist security studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade and acquired the title of specialist for national and global security.







Mme. Maija Sakslin

Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland

Maija Sakslin is the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman in Finland since 2010. She acted as a Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) from 2012 to 2015.

Previously, she has had numerous expert tasks relating especially to Constitutional and EU law, especially fundamental social rights and the division of competences between the EU and its Member States. She has publications in Constitutional law and European social security law.










Mr Thijs Berman

Principal Adviser of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

Thijs Berman is the Principal Adviser of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM).

He started his career as a journalist and has been based in Paris and Moscow for the public service radio of the Netherlands and other media. Between 2004 and 2014, he was a member of the European Parliament, focussing on budgetary issues, development cooperation and human rights.

After leaving parliament, he has been an electoral expert, leading an EU team in the Central African Republic assisting the authorities in organizing the presidential and parliamentary elections. He joined the RFOM in September 2016.









Ms Debbie Kohner

Secretary General of ENNHRI

Ms Debbie Kohner is Secretary General of ENNHRI, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions. ENNHRI supports National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to promote and protect human rights across wider Europe.

Ms Kohner is a qualified solicitor, having practised law in London and Madrid. She has also worked in the NGOs sector, and co-convened a coalition of equality and human rights organisations in Northern Ireland. Previously, she coordinated a major research project to set up the first reporting system for racist incidents in New Zealand.  

She has also worked at Westminster, the UK Parliament. Ms Kohner studied law at Jesus College, Oxford; Université de Paris II; and College of Europe, Bruges; as well as, at University of Ulster, Peace and Conflict Studies.







Session 3

Ms Agnieszka Grzelak

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights - Poland, Professor of EU and international law at Kozminski University in Warsaw

Dr hab. Agnieszka Grzelak is Deputy Director of the Constitutional, European and International Law in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Warsaw since January 2016; and a professor of EU and International public law at the Kozminski University in Warsaw since October 2016.

Previously she was associate professor (adiunkt) at the Law Institute, Warsaw School of Economics (2007-2016). From 2004 to 2016 she worked as an expert for legislation in the Bureau of Research of the Sejm (Polish Parliament).

She holds a Dr hab. degree from the Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, based on the scientific achievements including the monograph Personal data protection in the area of criminal cooperation - Towards the European standard (Warsaw 2015) – and a  

Ph.D. (2006) from the Jagiellonian University, Cracow with a thesis Legal instruments of the IIIrd pillar of the European Union.

Dr. Grzelak is the member of scientific councils of several law reviews and member of scientific associations. She authored of more than 70 publications, including 6 books on EU law and human rights law, primarily on personal data protection and fight against terrorism and serious crimes.




Ms Elisabet Fura

Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights and former Ombudsperson of Sweden

Born on 28 March 1954 in Stockholm

Juris kandidat, LLM, University of Stockholm 1979

Judge on the District Court of Sollentuna, 1979-82

Member of the Swedish Bar Association 1985-2003; Vice-President 1996-99; President 1999-2001

Associate member of Swedish law firm Vinge 1982-1988, partner 1988-2003

President of the International Association of Young Lawyers AIJA 1992

Head of the Swedish delegation to the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Union CCBE, 1998-2003

Judge of the European Court of Human Rights 2003-2012 (vice president of Section III 2008-2011, vice president of Section V 2011-2012)

Dr. Jur. honoris causa, Stockholm University 2010

Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden 2012-2016

Counsel of law firm Raidla Ellex, Estonia 2016-




Mr Mogens Blicher Bjerregård

President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)


Mr Mykhailo Chaplyga

Office of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights

Since 2012, the representative of the Commissioner - Head of Department for Public Relations  and Information Technology of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights. From 2004 till 2012 - Head of the Center for Applied Policy "Stratagema".

In 2007-2009 he was a member of the Labor Party of Ukraine (M.Syrota). In 2004-2008 Chairman of the NGO "Ukrainian Falcons". In 2007-2009 - Head of the Eastern Partnership within Socialist International. In 2002-2004 - Deputy Chairman of the NGO "Union of Young Socialists". 1999-2001- assistant to the People's deputy Ukraine.








Mr Jan Kleijssen

Director of the Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, Council of Europe

Jan Kleijssen was born in 1958 in Almelo (The Netherlands). He studied International Law at Utrecht State University (LLM in 1981) and International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa (MA 1982). He joined the Council of Europe in 1983 as a Lawyer with the European Commission of Human Rights.

Having served as Director of the Secretary General's Private Office and as the Special Adviser to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, he is currently the Director of Information Society and Action against Crime, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law, of the Council of Europe.

This Directorate carries out standard-setting, monitoring and co-operation activities on a wide variety of issues, including: Freedom of expression; Data protection; Internet governance; Cybercrime; Criminal law; Fighting corruption and money laundering; Action against drug trafficking/drug abuse.

He is the author of several publications in the field of human rights and international relations.






Ms Silvia Grundmann Head of Media and Internet Division, Council of Europe

Silvia Grundmann is Head of the Media and Internet Division at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

She holds both German law degrees with distinction, a Master of Common Law from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and she passed the New York State Bar Exam. For her PhD thesis she analyzed competition laws.

Silvia worked as a lawyer in private practice in Brussels, Washington D.C. and Düsseldorf and thereafter as a judge and professor at a University of Applied Sciences in Northern Germany until 2004, when she joined the Council of Europe’s department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

She then worked as an advisor for two Council of Europe’s Commissioners for Human Rights prior to her current function.







Mr Joan Barata Mir

International expert in freedom of expression, media freedom and media regulation



Dr. Joan Barata is an international expert in freedom of expression, media freedom and media regulation.

Dr. Barata is currently a Founding Partner and Senior Consultant at CommVisions, an affiliate to the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Research Fellow at the Center for Data and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest.

Before that he was the Principal Adviser to the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He also has a regulatory experience as Head of President’s Cabinet and Secretary General of the Catalonia Audiovisual Council and member of the Permanent Secretariat of the Mediterranean Network of Regulatory Authorities.

He has taught at several universities and published several books and articles on media freedom and media policy and regulation. He regularly provides assistance to several institutions and organizations, including Internews, IREX, the Council of Europe, USAID or the Organization of American States, working in countries such as Thailand, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Albania, Hungary, Liberia, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Ecuador.




Ms Debbie Kohner

Secretary General of ENNHRI




[1] All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Following the decision of the Committee of Ministers on 16 March 2022 the Russian Federation is no longer a member of the Council of Europe. The website will be updated as soon as possible to take account of this development.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression"

Art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights


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