EU Rights Clinic
The EU Rights Clinic is a not-for-profit service launched in January 2013 in collaboration with the University of Kent in Brussels. It helps EU citizens and their family members overcome problems they encounter when moving within the EU. The EU Rights Clinic:
- Provides problem-solving of difficult cases which goes beyond the advice that the European Commission services Europe Direct, Your Europe Advice (YEA) and SOLVIT provide.
- Deals with key cases that illustrate shortcomings in EU policy and legislation or its enforcement in Europe. The grouping together of similar cases into a “super” complaint provides empirical evidence to advocate for changes in policy, the legislative framework or enforcement practices.
- Encourages collective action across borders which might involve different interventions (litigation but also administrative and advocacy instruments) to be carried out in collaboration with national partners.
- Develops a strong educational and voluntary component – it involves students enrolled in a course on EU Migration Law, PhD researchers and students as volunteers, as well as pro bono support from law firms.
Since the start of its operation in 2013 till December 2018, the EU Rights Clinic has handled over 732 cases involving 830 individual clients and 6 NGO clients. Out of these, the EU Rights Clinic successfully closed 367 cases (excluding cases referred to other services).
The remaining 365 cases were requests for information or assistance falling outside the mandate of the Clinic. Requests for information were referred to Your Europe Advice and matters falling outside the mandate of the Clinic were signposted to legal aid organisations with relevant expertise.
- Receives, documents and classifies complaints from citizens.
- Hosts the meetings of the postgraduate students who work with qualified lawyers and citizens’ rights advisers.
- Organises and carries out advocacy campaigns.
- Coordinates the exchange with the members of the European Network of Rights Advice Centres (ENRAC) that is being created under the EU Rights Clinic: Association pour le droit des étrangers ASBL, Belgium; Legal Clinic of Faculty of Law, Zagreb, Croatia; The Danish Immigrant Counseling, Denmark; Migrants’ Information and Support Network (GISTI), France; Immigrant Council, Ireland; Union of Citizens Advice Bureaux, Poland; NGO PRO IGUAL, Spain; National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, Romania; Accem, Spain; and the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), UK.