Commissioner for Human Rights

Dr. Hanna Machińska

Deputy Commissioner

Hanna Machińska, Ph. D., is a lawyer and social activist with significant professional experience and accomplishments in implementing European legal standards, including those regarding human rights protection and anti-discrimination law, into the Polish legislative system. She has always been involved in the fight against discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

She is the author of a number of publications on human rights protection, including: Axiology in the European Union in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights, Protection of fundamental rights in the European Union, The idea of Europe (ed.), Poland and the Council of Europe, and Disabled persons in the labour market.

In 1973, she graduated from the Department of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw and since then she worked in the department. In 1978, she obtained her PhD degree. She currently works as an associate professor at the University of Warsaw.

In the period 1991-2002, she worked in the University of Warsaw’s Centre for Europe. In 2002-2010 she held the office of Director of the Council of Europe Information Office, and from 2011 to 3 March 2017 she was Director of the Council of Europe Office.

During Poland’s accession to the European Union (in 2002-2004) she worked as an expert in the Office of the Committee for European Integration (Polish: UKIE). She was also a member of the European Education Council in the Ministry of Education (2003), an expert of the Minister of Justice’s Advisory Committee on European Law (2008-2010), and a member of the Legal Advisory Committee to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011-2016).

In the period 1991-2017, she organized training courses for judges and prosecutors in the application of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2000-2006, she organized Polish-Dutch postgraduate studies in European Law for Polish public administration officers.

From 1992 to 2010 she was also the editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Council of Europe Office.

She completed internships in the European Commission, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne, as well as the Universities of Maastricht, Aarhus and Florence.

She received numerous awards, including those conferred by the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Education, the President of the Polish Bar Council, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the President of Austria. 

In 2022 Hanna Machińska received a honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Zurich.