Neil was awarded his law degree in 2001, having written his L.L.D. dissertation on the role of the Prosecutor before the International Criminal Court. During the two years immediately following his graduation he successfully established and managed a legal translation unit, the main task of which was to prepare Malta for its upcoming membership with the European Union. At the same time, he worked in EU funding and family law.
During this time Neil headed Amnesty International’s Malta branch, successfully advocating for Malta’s ratification of the first Optional Protocol to the United Nations anti-torture Convention (CAT). In fact, Malta was the first State to ratify the Protocol. Keen to pursue his human rights interests, Neil attended a train the trainers course organised by the Council of Europe and this proved to be the turning point, confirming that his interest require more than part-time voluntary work.
Upon his return, Neil quit his job and returned to his studies. He successfully completed his Mediterranean Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation in 2004, writing his dissertation at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law on the positive duty of states to prevent human rights violations.
In 2005, having just completed his Masters course, Neil was engaged by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to act as Liaison Officer between its Rome office and Malta. At this time, Malta was experiencing the arrival by boat of hundreds of refugees leaving Libya in an attempt to seek refuge in Europe. These were difficult days: negative public opinion was almost violent, just a handful of civil society organisations, one of Europe’s harshest detention policies, no life prospects for refugees in Malta, a struggling public administration and no real UNHCR office.
During the 4 years he spent at UNHCR, eventually as Head of Office, Neil focused on building UNHCR’s Malta presence, engaging in heavy advocacy efforts with the Maltese authorities, supporting NGOs and promoting a rights-based discourse and approach to migration and asylum.
Neil left UNHCR in 2009, wishing to establish himself as an independent legal and academic expert and also keen to contribute to building future generations of human rights advocates. He established, and continues to lecture, International Human Rights Law within the Faculty of Laws, and lectured other topics such as European Union Migration Law and Policy, Mediterranean Migration, Human Rights for Social Workers (on-going) and Regional Systems and Instruments of Human Rights Protection (also on-going).
During this time, Neil researched and drafted several technical reports including on interception at sea of refugees and migrants and the ‘Left to die boat’ for the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, gender identity and marriage equality for the Malta Gay Rights Movement. It was during this period that the idea of establishing a generic advocacy-based NGO was born and in 2011 aditus foundation was born.
As the organisation’s Director Neil is responsible for its overall management, and also actively involved in most of its projects and activities. He represents the organisation in its external relations, including through extensive media presence nationally and internationally.
Neil was Project Manager for the aditus’ FRANET Team. He is one of the Malta Coordinators of the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA), and member of the Academic network for legal studies on immigration & asylum in Europe (Odysseus Network). In 2014 he was awarded an LGBTI Community Award for his work in advancing LGBTI rights in Malta, and in 2015 elected to the Board ECRE to represent the Members in the Mediterranean Region.
Neil describes himself as a funny and hyper-energetic person. He is happily married, enjoys travelling and (quite rarely) practices yoga. He is the proud father of Gonçalo and Martim, as also their furry siblings Peter and Sabrina.
His CV can be downloaded here.
Dr. Carla Camilleri is a Maltese lawyer specialising in European Law and she is Assistant Director at aditus foundation. She was awarded her law degree in 2003 further to submitting her dissertation on The Effect and Status of the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms of the European Union and in 2004 she completed her Magister Juris in EU and Comparative law, passed with distinction. Besides her work at aditus, Carla is also a casual lecturer at the University of Malta within the European & Comparative Law Department and lecturers undergraduate and postgraducate law students in the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice Law.
In her work at aditus foundation, Carla carries out advocacy work in the field of migration, LGBTIQ+ rights, access to justice and governance issues. She is also one of the legal experts in the FRANET team for Malta. She is currently a member of the pool of experts set up by the European Commission to be part of the EU legal migration practitioners network.
In 2018, Carla authored the Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law and Policy – A Collection of Maltese Asylum Case-Law and Access to Legal Assistance in Malta: Mapping the Availability of Legal Assistance for the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Malta. Furthermore in the course of her work, she has publishes a number of reports which include: A Way Forward for a National Integration Policy in Malta – A Report on National Integration Policies in Malta and she acted as research assistant with Neil on MGRM’s Position Paper on Marriage Equality – Advocating the Best Options of Legislating for Same Sex Couples & Families in Malta.
In addition, Carla also provides information, advice and legal services to a number of clients in aditus’ Pro Bono Unit in a number of sectors, which include migration and asylum, citizenship, LGBTI rights with a focus on transgender children, anti-discrimination and employment rights.
Carla lives in the quiet town of Rabat with her husband, two kids and assorted flora and fauna.
Kasia is graduated with a master in international relation studies at University of Economics in Wroclaw, Poland. Specialised in international trading, she worked for more than seven years in different business-oriented organisations in the areas of sales, administration, logistics and project coordination.
She likes to travel and is interested in new cultures, which so far led her to live for one year in Sardegna as a scholarship from studies, and three years in Accra working with local companies.
In Malta she decided to apply her background and join civil society organisations, and is our Programmes Officer.
Kirsten is a Maltese advocate who obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 2017, and subsequently, read for a Master of Advocacy at the University of Malta and was admitted to the Maltese bar in 2019.
As a Legal Officer, forming part of our Pro Bono Unit, she provides legal services to clients including information, referrals and follow-ups.
Kirsten is passionate about equality, sustainability and animal rights. In her free time, Kirsten enjoys travelling, being in nature, reading and practicing yoga.
Marine holds a Master’s in Law and Humanitarian Action (NOHA) and a Postgraduate Diploma as an International Field Legal Advisor. She was also a clinical fellow in Aix Global Justice under the supervision of the Pr. Ludovic Hennebel.
Her keen interest in Human Rights led her to carry out volunteering experiences in Togo and India, as well as with the Red Cross and Amnesty International. Marine first joined aditus as a Legal Intern, contributing to our Pro Bono Unit and other projects.
Since July 2020, Marine had taken on the role of Case Officer within the Pro Bono Unit. She supports the legal team with research, data management, follow-ups, logistics and stakeholder communications. In 2023, Marine moved on from her role as Case Officer and now took on the more challenging role as Junior Legal Officer. She assists clients with legal matters relating to asylum and migration, including detention-related matters.
Denitsa joined the team in November 2023 to support the implementation of a project aiming to increase the impact of the Malta Refugee Council members to advocate for refugee rights.
She previously practiced social work in the asylum context in the areas of child protection, mental health and addictions in host countries on the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes. She has worked for several international organizations such as Medecins du Monde, the International Organization for Migration, Lumos Foundation and the European Union Agency for Asylum.
Furthermore, she has research experience in the areas of children’s rights in migration with specific interest in alternative care and guardianship systems. She holds BA and MA in Social Work and an additional MA in Democracy and Human Rights in Southeast Europe at the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna, a regional program of the Global Campus of Human Rights.
She is applying for a PhD in the Faculty of Social Well-being at the University of Malta.
Kyriakos Lefkopoulos is a Greek MA student at the University of Macedonia studying Human Rights and Migration Studies, currently working on his thesis titled: “An Investigation into the Implementation of the recast-Qualification Directive by Examining the Asylum Institutions and the Outcomes of Asylum Adjudication and Refugee Status Determination Processes with Concerning LGB Asylum Claimants: A Comparative Approach Towards the Maltese and Cypriot Contexts” (not finalised).
He has experience in European Law and Advocacy. Aside from his studies, Kyriakos has also participated in different volunteering opportunities. More specifically in AIESEC, at the University of Macedonia, he held the position of a team member and team leader in different groups focusing on youth volunteering opportunities abroad and traineeships for one year. Kyriakos has been volunteering for the past 5 years at Thessaloniki Pride, an organisation striving to uphold LGBTQI+ rights in northern Greece. Currently he holds the position of coordinator for the Conference organised for Europride 2024 in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Megan is a third year Arts with Human Rights student at the University of Galway, Ireland. During her studies, Megan has written extensively on migration control, push-back operations on the high seas, and the conditions of detention of asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees upon reaching land. Following the completion of her studies and training, Megan wishes to qualify as a lawyer, promote legal awareness, and assist in breaking down barriers in accessing justice in legal systems that have proven to be complex and difficult to navigate.
In her free time, Megan enjoys travel, weight lifting, and playing the guitar.
Maggie is a passionate humanitarian with a nomadic heart. After twelve years of travelling and working around much of the world, fresh from some time in India, Maggie commenced her BA in Human Rights at the University of Galway in Ireland in 2021.
With a passion in Migration Law, Refugee protection, and the eradication of statelessness, Maggie hopes to continue to advocate for all while promoting justice through truth-seeking.
Apart from her passion for humanity, Maggie loves to be in nature and create colourful recipes. She is a hobby photographer, an animal lover, an active yoga teacher, and always up for an adventure.