Lesvos Legal Centre is a team of lawyers and legally trained volunteers from across Europe, providing assistance on legal matters to refugees of Lesvos (Greece). We provide help on asylum applications, relocation and family reunification, as well as giving information and advice on any other legal issues refugees residing on Lesvos may have.
Carlos, the Legal Centre’s coordinator, is a solicitor from the UK, where he worked in criminal and extradition law. Before coming to Lesbos, he worked for five months in the Legal Centre in Calais, where he was involved in helping to secure the transfer of 14 unaccompanied minors to the UK. He set up the legal centre in Lesbos because he noticed in Calais that people had started their journey in Europe through Greece, but had not benefited from legal advice earlier in their journeys, when they needed it most
Natasha is a Greek lawyer providing legal support and advice in Mosaic Centre for asylum seekers by preparing their interviews and filing appeals and/or any related issue as family reunification, relocation, filing objections against detention, actions before the authorities etc. She has prior experience having worked as a freelancer in Athens in that field and as legal aid provider through the ministry of justice. As a fully-qualified greek lawyer she is the focal point of the legal work we provide.
Norma is a Jurist from Paris, France. She worked with Carlos in the Legal Centre in Calais for two months and has helped him set up the project in Lesbos. Norma’s main interest is in environmental law but, due to her work in Lesbos and Calais, she knows the Dublin III regulation off by heart. She can become very geeky when it comes to discussing refugee law with the rest of the team.
Victor has joined us from Sweden, where he’s studying for a Masters of Human Rights. Whilst he will be assisting with case work, he is also interested in political advocacy. He has lived in Australia for several years where he pursued a Bachelor of International Relations and worked for Amnesty International. A well-travelled person who enjoys exploring cultures and embracing the human connection from such adventures.
Lorraine is an attorney from the USA, who has worked investigating and litigating human rights abuses of multinationals in Colombia, and advocating on behalf of Palestinians’ rights. She joined the team in September, and always looking for uphill battles, she is keen to expose and advocate against the systematic violations of refugee and migrant rights here in Lesvos.
Gerhard is a dutch law expert volunteering for the Dutch Council for Refugees in particular on family reunification matters. With his law background, he has always been interested in Asylum law and all the regulations around refugees. Last May, his wife whom is a psychologist, was invited to Lesvos to work in Moria Camp for two weeks. As she was planning to return for a longer time, a dutch lawyer draw Gerhard attention to the Lesvos Legal Centre. He then decided to come together with his wife and to join the team as a law specialist. What moves him to do so? Showing humanity to the refugees, being interested in their harsh circumstances, and helping them going through the bureaucratic asylum system as they just entered Europe.
Jaz is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI)/queer refugee law, training, and advocacy. She also works to promote human rights through the Asia Pacific, and is about to take a fellowship in the Migration and Diversity Centre at the Law School of Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
Rachele is a law student, from Torino, Italy. When not absorbed by her learning of human rights law, she spends her time working with legal projects that support refugees in Italy. Her experience working with refugees in the country which currently has the greatest number of third country nationals entering its border makes Rachele a valuable member of the team. Since her arrival on the island, she has developed a love-hate relationship with Mosaik, the cat and youngest member of the team.
Becky is a volunteer who joined us for a month over the summer, after graduating from her law degree. She has returned to the UK to do a Masters degree in Human Rights Law, but she will continue supporting the centre whilst she’s in the UK, through fundraising and other small projects. The fundraising project is not so small though, as she’s been set a challenge of raising £2000!
Mosaik is one of the newest members of the Legal Centre team. He is only 2 months old, so isn’t quite as knowledgeable about the law as the rest of the team, but he is working on becoming a fully qualified lawyer cat. His favourite hobbies include playing with toys and getting into mischief.