The Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the human rights and rule of law standards of the Council of Europe, including the promotion of democracy through law, the operation of relevant treaties and related monitoring mechanisms and the development and implementation of activities in these fields.

Christos Giakoumopoulos

Director General
as from 01/08/2017

Welcome word - Biography and speeches


Philippe Boillat

Director General

Biography and Speeches (2006-2017)


Main objectives

  • to assist and advise the Secretary General on matters pertaining to law and policy in the fields of human rights and the rule of law;
  • to provide support and advice on these matters to the Committee of Ministers and all its subordinate Committees, in particular the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) and, as appropriate, to other services of the Organisation;
  • to elaborate and evaluate legal standards (Recommendations, guidelines, handbooks etc. and Conventions) ;
  • to provide Secretariat support and advice to the Organisation's treaty and related mechanisms in the fields of human rights and the rule of law, in particular to the Committee of Ministers in its function of supervision of the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), the European Committee of Social Rights, GRECO (corruption), MONEYVAL (money laundering and financing of terrorism), the European Audiovisual Observatory, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and the Pompidou Group (Combating drug abuse and drug trafficking) ;
  • to support member and/or non–member States in implementing institutional and legal frameworks in compliance with the principles of a democratic state, and at ensuring the observance of human rights and the rule of law.

To meet these objectives, the Directorate General, inter alia

  • maintains and develops contacts with the competent committees of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress;
  • co-operates and liaises regularly with other secretariat entities, in particular with the Directorate of Human Dignity and Equality - Directorate General of Democracy, on human rights and rule of law issues with a view to ensure an overall coherence of the Organisation's policies;
  • liaises and co-operates with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights on matters of common interest, in particular regarding the execution of the Court's judgments;
  • liaises and exchanges information with the Commissioner for Human Rights so as to optimise the effectiveness of action taken respectively by the DG and the Commissioner;
  • maintains and develops contacts with national authorities and specialised agencies (e.g. the Human Rights national Institutions and the Government Agents' offices before the European Court of Human Rights) in member and observer states in the field of human rights and the rule of law;
  • follows closely policies and developments in member and observer States as well as in neighbouring countries which may have implications for human rights and the rule of law and call for action by the Organisation;
  • disseminates information on Council of Europe standards, achievements and activities in the DG's fields of competence;
  • maintains and develops legal relations and establishes appropriate working contacts with the European Union through the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations;
  • implements the agreement between the European Union and the Council of Europe concerning the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA);
  • designs and implements co-operation activities to facilitate the honouring of commitments by member or applicant States, including in the framework of joint initiatives with the European Commission and other partners and of the "Human Rights Trust Fund";
  • develops interaction and synergies between the work of the Council of Europe in the fields of human rights and the rule of law and that of other European, regional and global actors; liaises with the competent services and bodies of the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE and other Organisations, taking into account the specific responsibilities of the Directorate of External Relations;
  • works with non-governmental organisations and relevant professional groups;
  • liaises with Council of Europe offices in the field concerning matters within its sphere of competence, taking into account the specific responsibilities of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes.

Know more about

 The Directorate of Human Rights

 The Directorate of Security, Integrity and Rule of Law

 The Directorate of Social Rights, Health and Environment

 The Venice Commission


We promote, develop and monitor the implementation of human rights and rule of law standards


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