ADF International

Paul Coleman

Executive Director

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Paul Coleman serves as executive director of ADF International from its headquarters in Vienna, overseeing the advocacy and operations of the global, alliance-building legal advocacy organization.

Specializing in international human rights and European law, Coleman has been involved in more than 20 cases before the European Court of Human Rights and has authored complaints and submissions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, International Criminal Court, Court of Justice of the European Union, UN Human Rights Committee, and numerous national courts.

Coleman was part of the legal team in the historic Eweida and others v. United Kingdom case, where the court handed down a landmark ruling on religious freedom. Coleman has also authored legal submissions in numerous precedent-setting cases before the European Court, including three Grand Chamber victories. In Gross v. Switzerland, he submitted that no right to assisted suicide or euthanasia exists under the European Convention on Human Rights. In F.G. v. Sweden, Coleman argued that European countries have a duty to protect Christian converts escaping persecution in their native countries. In Nagy v. Hungary, he argued that churches must have the freedom to manage their internal affairs without interference from the government or other state bodies.

Coleman earned his LL.M. and postgraduate diploma in legal practice, with distinction, from the Northumbria Law School. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws, with first-class honours, from Newcastle University. Coleman is a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and is the author of two books and numerous articles.



Censored addresses the rise of so-called ‘hate speech’ laws throughout Europe and their devastating effect on freedom of speech.  In Germany, for example, committing an ‘insult’ is a criminal offence and in Poland offending ‘religious feelings’ carries a two year prison sentence. In Cyprus, anyone who promotes ‘feelings of ill will’ may be committing a crime, while in Sweden anyone who expresses ‘contempt’ towards a group of people may be imprisoned.


The Global Human Rights Landscape

The Global Human Rights Landscape: A Short Guide to Understanding the International Organizations and the Opportunities for Engagement

Throughout the world today, marriage is being redefined by national courts and governments, religious liberty is severely threatened, and abortion is routinely promoted as a ‘human right’. The international organizations that were established in the 20th century to protect fundamental human rights are instead in some areas being used to undermine them. This short guide seeks to answer three questions: What are the international and regional human rights institutions that exist around the world, why do they matter and how can individuals and organizations get involved?


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