Philippe Boillat was born on 31 July 1952 in Switzerland. He holds a Master in Law from the University of Lausanne.

He started his legal career in 1978 at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Bern. Between 1997 and October 2005, he was Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Head of International Affairs Department and the Swiss Government Agent to the European Court of Human Rights and UN Committee against torture.

He has been Chairperson of several major intergovernmental Committees:

the Human Rights Committee for the Protection of National Minorities, the Ad Hoc Committee for the Protection of National Minorities, the European Committee responsible for drawing-up “Guidelines on Human Rights and the fight against terrorism” and “Guidelines on the protection of victims of terrorist acts”, the Group which drew up Protocol No.14 amending the European Convention on Human Rights and the Steering Committee for Human Rights.

In May 2006, he was appointed Director General of Human Rights in the Council of Europe, and from May 2007 to July 2017, Director General of the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law.

Philippe Boillat has published several feature articles in the legal and human rights sectors.

Speeches by Philippe Boillat

Please note that the speeches are available in only one language, English or French.

Veuillez noter que les discours sont disponibles uniquement dans une seule langue, français ou anglais.

 Director General 
Christos Giakoumopoulos

Mandate   Organigramme


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