As part of efforts to strengthen access to justice for those persons encountering difficulties in securing their human rights, in 2014 we chose to consolidate our legal aid activities into a Pro Bono Unit.
Composed of a small group of lawyers and law students, this Unit aims to:
- provide legal information and advice;
- intervene in cases, by either acting on situations ourselves or referring the cases to other agencies/lawyers in accordance with our internal criteria;
- stimulate and support a pro bono culture in Malta;
- increase internal and external capacity to deal with pressing human rights concerns, including by organizing training activities, encouraging professional networking and promoting information-sharing.
We currently provide information and assistance in various themes, including: asylum applications and appeals, Dublin III, documentation, family reunification, employment, civil status, and discrimination.
Our main areas of activity are migration, asylum and LGBTI.
We also provide legal support towards the creation of new civil society organisations.
Major achievements to date include the resolution of the Joanne Cassar case, where Ms. Cassar challenged Malta before the European Court of Human Rights demanding full legal recognition of her gender. aditus foundation presented a third party submission jointly with the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement.
Also, our Director brought the case Suso Musa vs Malta before the European Court of Human Rights, challenging the legality of Mr. Musa’s immigration detention.
The Court judged in favor of Mr. Musa, finding a violation of ECHR Article 5. Importantly, the Court chose to make some very strong statements regarding Malta’s administrative detention policy:
122. …the Court considers that the respondent State must above all, through appropriate legal and/or other measures, secure in its domestic legal order a mechanism which allows individuals taking proceedings to determine the lawfulness of their detention to obtain a determination of their claim within Convention-compatible time-limits, but which nevertheless maintains the relevant procedural safeguards…
…it must have a judicial character and provide guarantees appropriate to the type of deprivation of liberty in question…
Get in touch with us if you need any kind of assistance, and we’ll do our best to provide the required support.