Skip to content

What they say

Linos-Alexandre SicilianosJean-Paul CostaToomas Hendrik IlvesMargret WintermantelSofi Oksanen


The Ombudsman should be a good lawyer and a good person. Julia Laffranque is both. It would be of great benefit to EU citizens and crucial for true European co-operation if Julia were the very first judge of the European Court of Human Rights to become European Ombudsman.
As a European judge, Julia has been very conscientious, dedicated, hardworking, always motivated, energetic, open-minded and straightforward. She will be able not only to mediate solutions as judges do, but also, as ombudsmen do where necessary, be proactive in the interest of fundamental rights.

Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos
President, European Court of Human Rights


I can personally vouch for Julia’s abilities, not only her legal capacities but also her high level of independence, impartiality and morality. I greatly appreciate her human qualities: her availability, her attention to others, her sense of fair-play, her interpersonal skills, her kindness and her strength of character.

Jean-Paul Costa
President of the René Cassin Foundation/Human Rights Institute in Strasbourg,
former President of the European Court of Human Rights


Julia Laffranque with Toomas Hendrik Ilves President of Estonia, 2006–2016Judge Laffranque would be a uniquely skilled and effective European ombudsman. Hailing as she does from Estonia, Europe’s most digitised country, she is singularly qualified to deal with issues such as online freedom and data privacy, which increasingly require ever more attention in safeguarding the rights of European citizens. As a judge instrumental in establishing the rule of law in a country that today has become outstanding in this area, as well as her deep understanding of the issues faced by ordinary citizens, I see Ms Laffranque as one of the ablest advocates for the rights of all EU citizens. In all three areas, Europeans’ rapidly expanding and deepening digital lives, rule of law and the rights of those who have nowhere else to turn to, I can think of no one more qualified to fulfil the post of a 21st Century European ombudsman than Julia Laffranque.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President of Estonia, 2006–2016


DAAD recognised Prof. Laffranque as a talent an early age and honoured her with an annual scholarship. With her first class education, her outstanding professional career and her extraordinary commitment to European Integration, international co-operation and understanding, Prof. Laffranque stands out among the most qualified colleagues in her field. She not only honours highest professional quality, but also an equally high personal and social achievement. As president of the DAAD, I strongly support her candidacy for the position of European Ombudsman.

Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel
President, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service)


Julia’s background combines art and the law – two fields of paramount importance to the well-being of society. Law is crucial to equality, which, together with culture, is one of the basic principles of the EU. Art has always been the tool for understanding the world from someone else’s perspective. It constitutes a shield against racism and discrimination – which is why artists, writers and other creators often face resistance and oppression themselves. In these turbulent times we need people who have sensitivity and understanding of these matters; Julia Laffranque has both.

Sofi Oksanen
Writer, winner of the European Book Prize 2010