Who is the Catalan ombudswoman

Esther Giménez-Salinas i Colomer holds a PhD in Law and a diploma in Applied Psychology by the University of Barcelona. She was head of the Legal Defence Service for Minors in the Department of Justice of the Catalan Government from 1981 to 1983. From 1983 to 1993 she was Director of the Centre for Legal Studies and Specialised Training of the Catalan Government. She was also Deputy Director of the Institute of Criminology of the University of Barcelona, and was appointed member of the Council of Europe’s Scientific Committee on Criminal Policy, in Strasbourg (1993-1997).

In 1995 she was appointed Director of Institutional Relations of the Department of Justice of the Catalan Government. A year later she was appointed member of the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary in Madrid (1996-2001).

Since 1996 she has held the Chair of Criminal Law and Criminology at the ESADE Law School of the Ramon Llull University, where she was President from 2002 to 2012. At the end of her term, she was a visiting professor at Fordham University, New York (2012/2013), and in 2015 she taught at a postgraduate course on criminal justice system and corruption at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 2017 she was awarded the Nelson Mandela Extraordinary Chair of Restorative Justice by the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico.

As a result of her experience in the university sector, between 2012 and 2020 she was a non-executive director of Santander Bank, and in 2021 she was appointed the same position in Mexico. 

From 2006 to 2012 she was president of the Inter-University Council of Catalonia’s Women and Science Commission. Between 2011 and 2015 she was also a member of the Board of the European University Association (EUA).

She holds an advanced research accreditation from the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU Catalunya) and has completed a twenty-four-year period of research work. She has authored numerous scientific publications in her areas of specialisation: criminal law, juvenile justice, penitentiary systems, criminology, restorative justice, victimology, higher education and gender. She has visited many juvenile facilities and prisons around the world as a specialist. In 2018, she stayed at the Islas Marías prison in Mexico, where she gave a course on restorative justice for inmates and staff.

She has cooperated with different bodies, such as the Ethics Committee of the Police of Catalonia, the Ethics Committee of the Barcelona Local Police, the Bioethics Committee of Catalonia, and AQU Catalunya. She has also collaborated regularly in the media.

From 2016 to 2022 she has directed the Pere Tarrés Chair of Social and Restorative Justice at the Ramon Llull University, through which she has been able to investigate the social reality.

Since 15 July 2022 she holds the position of síndica de greuges of Catalonia (Catalan ombudswoman).

Inauguration's speech of Esther Giménez-Salinas as síndica de greuges (Catalan ombudswoman)