Exchange of legal publications

On Wednesday 28 November human rights non-governmental organisation aditus foundation donated to the Dean of the Faculty of Laws of the University of Malta copies of their two most recent publications, for the Faculty of Laws and Theology Library, and to be distributed to lecturing staff and law students.

The Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law and Policy is Malta’s first and only gathering of judicial pronouncements in the area of asylum, presenting decisions of the Maltese Courts and of the European Court of Human Rights. It is a useful handbook for practitioners, academics and students interested in various themes in the field of asylum, including: age assessment procedures, administrative detention, access to territory and procedural issues.

Access to Legal Assistance in Malta: Mapping the Availability of Legal Assistance for the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Malta explores the Malta’s provision of legal aid to persons who cannot afford the costs of private legal advice and counsel, advocating for the provision of quality and accessible legal assistance.

“It is in the interests of human rights protection to secure legal education and practice that is grounded in a solid understanding of the relevant norms and values.

We are extremely happy to support the Law Faculty’s work at producing lawyers who are not only well-versed in human rights law, but who also embrace its spirit and ethos.”

Dr Neil Falzon, aditus foundation Director.

The Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law and Policy and Access to Legal Assistance in Malta: Mapping the Availability of Legal Assistance for the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Malta are freely available from aditus foundation.

Receiving the books, Faculty of Laws’ Dean Professor Kevin Aquilina donated a copy of his recent book to the organisation. Human Rights Law: Selected Writings of Kevin Aquilina presents a compilation of the Dean’s insights into several themes regarding human rights in Malta.

Spanning several years of writing, it is not only intended to share the author’s views on key subjects, but to also generate discussion on the present and future of human rights law in Malta.


News item taken from the website of the University of Malta.


Publication of our Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law & Policy

A collection of Maltese asylum case-law

The Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law & Policy – A Collection of Maltese Asylum case-law gathers the large collection of case-law decided by the Maltese courts and the European Court of Human Rights with respect to Malta in the field of asylum.

The Compendium is divided into six chapters. Chapter I on Procedural Issues takes into account the vast number of judgements that examined the nature of judicial review and constitutional review in the field of asylum and immigration, and the implications of challenging decisions by the Refugee Appeals Board and the Immigration Appeals Board.

Chapter II focuses on jurisprudence relating to asylum determination claims and highlights the restraints that our Courts have in reviewing decisions relating to asylum on the merits.

The examination on the grounds for detention, the remedies available at law for challenging detention and judgments on detention in the light of claims of breaches of fundamental right are tackled in Chapter III.

Chapter IV explores the importance of access to the territory and surrounding issues, such as border control and the principle of non-refoulement, and related judgements. The age assessment procedure is examined in Chapter V.

Finally, Chapter VI explores the content of and access to associated rights of beneficiaries of international protection in the light of the available Court jurisprudence and Ombudsman decisions.

Compendium of Asylum Jurisprudence, Law and Policy – Table of Contents       Author: Carla Camilleri; Research Assistants: Isabelle Sammut, Enya Tanti; Reviewed by: Neil Falzon

 

The Compendium is free of charge, however the costs of postage would need to be covered by anyone interested in receiving a copy by post. Charges for postage for both overseas and local postage for this publication is €3.50.  Payment can be made via a number of options: click here for information on payment.

It is important to indicate your name and include the word “Compendium” in the narrative of your transaction.  Please email: carlacamilleri@aditus.org.mt for more information.

Ultimately, we hope that the Compendium strengthens the quality of those judicial decisions that determine the extent to which refugees are able to effectively enjoy their fundamental human rights.

We hope that readers of this Compendium will take from it the wealth of knowledge gathered in its pages, and also appreciate the struggles refugees face as they seek to secure their human dignity in Malta.

Dr. Neil Falzon

Director aditus foundation

 


This publication has been funded through the Small Initiatives Support Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector.


Training materials on access to justice for migrant children

The FAIR project (Fostering Access to justice for Immigrant children’s Rights) was a two-year long project, which aimed at strengthening access to justice for migrant children in the EU. Migrant children in the EU face violations of their human rights every day. Lack of access to their families, to information, guardians and legal assistance, lack of access to housing or education, unlawful detention – are few examples of what the children suffer.

The results of the project are a number of practical training modules and learning tools to support lawyers in defending migrant children’s rights:

The materials include the following training modules:

0. Guiding principles and definitions,

I. Access to fair procedures including the right to be heard and to participate in proceedings,

II. Access to justice in detention,

III. Access to justice for economic, social and cultural rights,

IV. Access to justice in the protection of their right to private and family life,

V. Redress through international human rights bodies and mechanisms,

VI. Practical handbook for lawyers when representing a child.

These materials have been used in national trainings for lawyers organised by the ICJ-EI in Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Ireland and Germany and include also practical training tools, such as case studies and warm-up questionnaires to guide possible future trainings.

Timeframe:

1 March 2016 – 1 March 2018

Project Partners:

International Commission of Jurists – European Institutions (Lead Partner), Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) (EL), aditus foundation (MT), Fundacion Raices (ES), Bundesfachverband Unbegleitete Minderjährige Flüchtlinge e.V. (B-UMF) (DE), Legal Clinic for Immigrant and Refugees (LCIR) (BG), Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) (IR), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA).

 

EU flag_yellow_high

Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union.

Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union and the Open Society Institute Budapest Foundation, and implemented in cooperation with the AIRE Center, Child Rights Connect, and the Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (ASGI) (Italy).


Alerting the Universal Periodic Review to statelessness in Malta

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

Together with our colleagues at the European Network on Statelessness and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, we just submitted information to the Universal Periodic Review regarding the situation of stateless people in Malta. The UPR provides human rights NGOs with an excellent opportunity of high-level advocacy on key themes.

Our submission, largely based on the recently-launched Statelessness Index, presents an overview of the legal and policy situation whereby stateless persons in Malta are not identified and – as a consequence – are invisible and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The submission makes a series of recommendations, hoping these would be taken up within the UPR process and addressed to Malta in November.

Main recommendations include:

  • accede and fully implement the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;
  • implement a Statelessness Determination Procedure that results in a dedicated protection status associated with clear rights and support mechanisms;
  • add the categories ‘stateless’ and ‘unknown nationality’ in national census exercises;
  • refrain from detaining migrants in respect of whom a returnable country of origin has not, or cannot, be established;
  • modify the Civil Code to ensure the birth registration of children born in international waters where their registration in another country is impossible due to legal or other considerations;

Our full submission can be downloaded here.

Do you want to raise any human rights matter before the Universal Periodic Review? You’ve got until Thursday 29 March for your issues to be considered in Malta’s November session. Should you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!


 

 

 


Personal stories of protecting refugees coming soon: Our Island

My time spent working with refugees has taught me many things: the sheer strength of the human spirit, the tragedy of loss and suffering born of human egoism, neglect and violence, the capacity of the nation state to deny the right to rights and the people’s capacity to be complicit…and also to resist.

Maria Pisani

How does one convey what it was like to work in detention, to someone who has never set foot inside a detention centre? How to bring home the devastating impact of detention, so neatly defined as “deprivation of liberty or confinement in a closed place, which [one] …is not allowed to leave at will”, on the lives of men, women and children, which, even after so many years of working with detainees, even I feel I cannot begin to understand?

Katrine Camilleri

These are excerpts taken from Our Island: Personal Accounts of Protecting Refugees in Malta, a book soon to be published by aditus foundation. Our Island gathers the personal experiences of those people who experienced Malta’s encounter with refugees, as it seeks to document important moments and suggest lessons learnt.

Whilst much is said of refugees in Malta, little is documented in terms of the early years of these arrivals and how, throughout the decades, these arrivals shaped various parts of Maltese communities.

Our Island invited directly involved individuals to write about their experiences, thoughts and significant moments. Our aim is to document important years in Malta’s social and community history, by gathering informal and personal accounts from those persons who experienced it first hand.

The book covers important themes such as the government’s reaction and response, the detention regime, the asylum procedure, rescue at sea, community mobilisation and much more!

We want to share these accounts in order to appreciate them, learn from them and assess the impact of refugee arrivals on Malta.

Contributors to Our Island are: Katrine Camilleri (JRS Malta), Maria Pisani (Integra Foundation, former Head of IOM Office in Malta), Mario Friggieri (former Refugee Commissioner), Michael Camilleri (human rights lawyer), Ali Konate (founder of the Migrants’ Network for Equality), Tonio Borg (former Minister for Justice and Home Affairs), Colonel Clinton J. O’Neill (Armed Forces of Malta), Mgr. Alfred Vella (Malta Emigrants’ Commission) and Paolo Artini (UNHCR).

Neil Falzon, our Director, provides an Introduction.

The book will be published soon and made available either directly from our offices or through leading bookstores. Contact us if you want to reserve your copy (against a donation to the organisation).

Our Island is funded through the Creative Communities Fund of Arts Council Malta.