The CCBE is looking for volunteers to join the ‘European Lawyers in Lesvos’ project to provide legal assistance to refugees and migrants.

The project coordinators are looking for candidates to join the team in Lesvos from July 2017 onwards for the period of minimum 3 weeks. The eligible candidates must be qualified lawyers and must have experreince or training in immigration and / or asylum law. They must also be proficient in English. More information on the application process is available here.

’European Lawyers in Lesvos’ is a project organised jointly by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the German Bar Association (DAV). Its main aim is to send European lawyers to the island of Lesvos to support Greek lawyers in the provision of legal assistance to migrants requiring international protection.

The purpose of this project is to give refugees in Lesvos the chance to receive individual legal advice from a lawyer. This is more important than ever, especially in the current international climate, as there is great uncertainty amongst the more than 4,000 migrants/refugees on the island about their legal entitlements. To support the efforts of Greece at this time, EU member states are currently sending numerous police officers and asylum law experts to Greece. The project coordinators strongly believe that in order to ensure due process of law, every person requesting or requiring international protection should be able to consult a lawyer. This is the only way to ensure that the rule of law is preserved.

Up until now, the project has provided first instance legal advice to more than 650 clients from 37 different countries. It acquired 43 volunteer lawyers from 12 countries, who have agreed to leave their families, offices, and spend three weeks on this island to help others. The project is highly respected in the NGO community and with the authorities in Lesvos, both because of the exemplary work and conduct of the volunteers, and because it has been recognised that first instance legal assistance was missing from the humanitarian aid measures refugees and migrants were receiving in Moria.

The project team on Lesvos now consists of up to six volunteer lawyers, drawn from across Europe. All of the volunteer lawyers are specialised in asylum law. The project also has two full-time interpreters (Arabic and Farsi), and a German trainee lawyer. Finally, the project has three project coordinators - two of whom are Greek lawyers, including Ms Aggeliki Santi, who is a member of the Mytilene Bar Association.

More information about the project can be found here.