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Ledi Bianku is a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights and an Associate Professor at the University of Strasbourg, France. He is a former member of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission for Democracy through Law.

In 2007 he was elected as a Judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Albania.  As a member of the Court, he worked on several important cases related to refugee crises in Europe, the consequences of global terrorism, the independence of the judiciary, the human rights consequences of major historical events such as the invasion of Iraq and the 2016 coup in Turkey, the right to privacy in electronic communications, etc. He was a member of the judicial panels in Strasbourg in seminal cases, such as MSS v. Belgium and Greece, Gafgen v. Germany, Al Skeini v. the United Kingdom, Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom, Austin v. the United Kingdom, Barbulescu v. Romania, etc.

Ledi was elected vice President of the Ist Section of the ECHR in 2016. At the Court he was a member of the EU law group since 2008, and he chaired the Judicial Reflection Group (2015-2019) and the Working Group on the Reform of the Grand Chamber (2016-2018).

He has represented the Strasbourg Court in meetings with delegations of the Court of Justice of the European Union, International Court of Justice and several national jurisdictions such as UK Supreme Court, French Constitutional Council, German Federal Constitutional Court, Italian Court of Cassation, Italian Council of State, etc.

Legal Practice

Prior to taking up judicial office, Ledi managed a large legal practice in human rights law and constitutional law. He pleaded before the Albanian courts, including the Supreme and Constitutional Court since 1994, the year when he was admitted to the Tirana bar.

From 1998 until his election to the Strasbourg Court, Ledi represented many applicants and counselled the Albanian Government before the Court.

Between 2000 and 2007 he counselled the Albanian President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Albanian Government, and Ministers of Justice and EU affairs on issues of legal approximation and drafting, EU integration and human rights compliance.

In 2006 he was elected by the Albanian Parliament as Chairman of the National Council for Radio and Television (National Audio-visual Authority).

Ledi is currently serving as Treasurer of the René Cassin Foundation – International Institute of Human Rights, as President of the Association of the René Cassin Foundation and Director of the AIRE Centre Ireland. Between 2015-2019 he served as Member of the Nomination Board for Thomson Reuters. He is one of the founders of the European Centre Foundation, a leading Albanian NGO on issues of human rights and EU integration.

Academic Life

Ledi graduated in Law from University of Tirana in Albania in 1993 and a Master’s Degree in EU law from the College of Europe in Bruges.

He has been teaching International law, human rights law and EU law at the Law Faculty, University of Tirana, since 1993 and at the Albanian School of Magistrates from 1997 until his election to the European Court of Human Rights. He has been a visiting lecturer and has participated in conferences at College of Europe, Bruges, University of Paris II (Pantheon Assas), European Law Academy in Trier, EASO, University of Kent, State University of Milano, Kosovo School for European Integrations, University of Luxembourg, University Jean Moulin (Lyon III), Catholic University of Louvain, etc.

Currently he is teaching ECHR law, EU fundamental rights law, migration law, and European health law at the Law Faculty and Institute of Political Studies of the University of Strasbourg.

In addition to his mother tongue Albanian, his mastery of English, French and Italian has given him the possibility to publish widely on issues of human rights, EU law and public international law, constitutional law, etc.

He is currently based in Strasbourg.