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 is 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 brothers Dominic and Harry.
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, and published her dissertation entitled Transparency in the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement: A Comparison Between the Effects on the EU & Developing and Least Developed Countries. Besides her work at aditus, Carla is also a casual lecturer at the University of Malta in the European & Comparative Law Department and lecturers LLM 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 was also one of the legal experts in the FRANET team for Malta between 2014 and 2018, and carried out research services in the fields of migration, victims’ rights and disability rights.
Carla acted as company secretary and assisted St. Andrew’s Scots Church in setting up and licencing the Malta Microfinance Ltd which is Malta’s first financial institution licenced by the MFSA that grants microloans to migrants and disadvantaged persons in Malta
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. She also published a paper on Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation as part of the project Anti-Discrimination, Inclusion and Equality in Malta coordinated by the European Documentation and Research Centre.
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.
Alexis is a graduate of a Master’s in Law and Humanitarian Action and a Postgraduate Diploma as an International Field Legal Advisor.
He previously worked as a legal caseworker and as legal and technical assistant for Lawyers Without Borders France on the Greek island of Samos. In this position he specialized in litigation in front of the European Court of Human Rights, his team and him are responsible for several cases on the living conditions in the Greek hotspot.
Alexis is one of the members of our Pro Bono Unit, focusing on asylum applications, appeals and strategic litigation. He also provides research input to other projects and activities, drafting the Malta report for the Asylum Information Database (AIDA).
Mireille is a Maltese advocate who obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 2019 further to submitting her dissertation titled, ‘Prostitution in Malta: a comparative study examining the current standing and analysing the effects of alternative approaches in similar jurisdictions’ with particular focus on human rights and the protection of minority groups. Subsequently, she read for a Master of Advocacy at the University of Malta and successfully obtained her warrant to practice law in Malta.
Throughout her studies, she contributed to various policy papers relating to topics including environmental law and human rights in collaboration with student organisations. Moreover, she has taken part in student exchanges with foreign universities including the Erasmus exchange at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and the ELSA summer law school at the University of Coimbra, Portugal focused on human rights.
Mireille is passionate about the environment, cherishing both plants and animals alike.
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. She is currently on maternity leave.
Eva is Italian and 26 years old. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Trento, Italy and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the UCD College in Dublin, Ireland. During her studies, she was able to participate in various webinars on the situation of human rights in Europe which allowed her to better understand the situation of minorities and migrants and pushed her to focus her Masters in Human Rights.
Eva has been involved in some voluntary groups for the protection of human rights such as Amnesty International (Dublin), World Beyond War and World Beyond War Youth Network as an anti-war activist in which she is part of the main board.
In her free time she likes to travel (especially in Asia) and is interested in the cultures and ethnicities of the places she visits. In her role at aditus, Eva is acting as Programmers Officer and providing maternity cover for Katarzyna.
Marine is soon to be graduated from 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 has 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.
Christine Dimech is a 21-year old Law Student at the University of Malta, going onto her fourth and final year of LL.B Studies. Subsequent to the completion of her Diploma, she intends on continuing her studies by means of advancing onto a Masters in Advocacy.
She is yet to decide her specific legal specialisation. However, she is primarily interested in issues concerning human rights. Her concern for human rights has been at the forefront of her passions and she eventually wishes to pursue a career in this area.
In her free time, she enjoys doing anything related to the performing arts; be it performing or watching a musical! She is very excited to continue expanding her legal knowledge and contributing to the work done by the aditus foundation!
Christine joins us as a Legal Intern, contributing to our Pro Bono Unit and other projects.
Diane Dimech is a 21-year old student who is currently reading Law at the University of Malta. Heading to her fourth and final year of the Bachelor of Laws, her primary area of interest points towards human rights. She therefore strives to work in this field in the near future, and aiding her with preparing for such is the writing of her LL.B dissertation which targets a specific marginalised group. She has always been vocal when it comes to social issues, particularly protecting black lives, the LGBTIQ+ community and immigrants’ rights, amongst various others.
In her free time, Diane fairly enjoys being creative; from musical theatre to drawing, she is an avid fan of anything which requires even an ounce of imagination! Joining aditus as a Legal Intern, she cannot wait to amplify her level of legal knowledge when it comes to human rights.
Diane joins us as a Legal Intern, contributing to our Pro Bono Unit and other projects.