In 2015, the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA) celebrated its 30th anniversary by organising an advanced training in Bologna on “Legal avenues for strengthening international protection in Europe”. Thanks to ERASMUS+ funds, we had the opportunity to attend this high level course in Bologna. Claire (Legal Office) participated, together with Neil (Director).
ELENA is a forum of legal practitioners aiming to promote the highest human rights standards for the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and other persons in need of international protection in their daily individual counselling and advocacy work. The network now counts over 500 lawyers and legal counsellors from all over Europe. Aditus has been an active member of this platform for years.
The aim of this course was to provide tools for lawyers and NGOs for advancing the rights of refugees. Firstly, the training focused on effective remedies for asylum cases: how to bring efficiently asylum cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) but also to lesser used avenues such as United Nations and Council of Europe mechanisms.
Secondly, the course covered the implementation of asylum decisions: ECtHR and CJEU judgments, EU infringements procedures initiated by the European Commission and the monitoring of national asylum systems.
Finally, the course examined legal remedies in Dublin Regulation cases, family reunification and detention cases.
Trainers for this course included professionals from the CJEU or ECtHR, directors of human rights centres, UNHCR representatives but also reputable asylum lawyers such as Nuala Mole.
This course presented a unique opportunity to reinforce aditus in its strategic litigation capacity but also to continue building strong relations and network with legal practitioners specialised in asylum law.
Building on this course, aditus organised in February 2016 a workshop with all Maltese NGOs active within the asylum field. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the new reception system for asylum seekers in Malta and to discuss together common strategic goals and Action Plan for the coming months.
aditus has been monitoring the transposition of the EU Reception Directive during the full legislative process and delivered a comprehensive presentation on the new system. While we welcome the end of systematic and automatic detention for every migrant entering Malta irregularly, some serious concerns remain (e.g. availability of legal challenges, lack of alternatives to detention, etc.).