Our History

The European Lawyers in Lesvos was founded in June 2016 by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the German Bar Association (DAV). These organisations represent the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 13 further associate and observer countries across Europe, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.

In October 2017, European Lawyers in Lesvos gGmbH was incorporated in Germany as an independent, charitable non-profit organisation. Its two shareholders are the CCBE and DAV. It was subsequently registered in Greece in early 2018.

ELIL has a Supervisory Board, chaired by Professor Vassilios Skouris, who is an eminent Greek judge and former President of the European Court of Justice.

On 28 July 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the CCBE, the DAV and the Alternate Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, competent for Migration Policy. This Memorandum of Understanding set out the framework for the European Lawyers in Lesvos and guarantees our access to Moria to provide legal assistance. This Memorandum of Understanding was extended, on the same terms, for an additional year from 28 July 2017.

ELIL's registered office is Littenstraße 11, 10179 Berlin and its registration number is HRB 192296 B.

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (“CCBE”) is an organisation which represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers. It is recognised as the voice of the European legal profession by the national bars and law societies on the one hand, and by the EU institutions on the other. It acts as the liaison between the EU and Europe’s national bars and law societies.


The German Bar Association is the independent organisation of German lawyers. Based on voluntary membership, the German Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltverein, “DAV”) represents German lawyers and notary lawyers in all economic, public and professional interests as well as policy questions related to the rule of law. The DAV observes political and confessional neutrality and places great emphasis on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Furthermore, it promotes gender equality. Together with the German Federal Bar (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer, “BRAK”), the DAV represents the German legal profession in the CCBE.

All photos: Cord Brügmann/ELIL