Human Rights Law Program

Human Rights Law Program

The ASRC Human Rights Law Program (HRLP) is a Community Legal Centre auspiced by the ASRC and a member of the Federation of Community Legal Centres. The program exists to provide access to justice for refugees and people seeking asylum.

The practice offers holistic legal support at all stages of the refugee determination process,  including expert immigration advice and representation. It also actively engage in policy and law reform, community legal education and training and outreach to detention centres.

In 2016-17, the practice responded to 1797 requests for legal assistance and offered 4361 free legal appointments. This was made possible by the efforts of 19 solicitors and 479 legal program volunteers who work in our in-house clinics, through our partnerships and pro-bono legal support initiatives.

Legal clinics

The HRLP offers weekly legal clinics to over 1000 clients may attend pre-booked appointments to receive specific legal advice with their refugee matter.

In order to adapt to an ever-changing policy environment, the ASRC utilises its legal network to scale up service delivery to provide legal assistance. In 2016-17, the HRLP were supported by pro-bono partner firms; Maurice Blackburn and Russell Kennedy Lawyers to run legal clinics in order to meet the demand for legal assistance.

A partnership La Trobe Law School continues to provide valuable assistance to the HRLP with the support and lodgement of applications for protection, and ongoing legal support.

Gender clinic

The ASRC offers specialised legal assistance and representation to vulnerable people who have gender based claims for asylum. The service offers weekly legal clinics as well as advocacy and education to external agencies, strategic litigation and policy reform work.

Information sessions

The HRLP conducts information sessions and workshops for refugees and people seeking asylum in the community. These provide valuable opportunities for people to be informed about the impact of changing policies, ways to gain access to community-based legal services and how to navigate a complex refugee determination process.

The Human Rights Law Program comprises the following immigration lawyers and registered Migration Agents:

  • Abbey Eleanor Burke (Solicitor), MARN 1909042
  • Carina Field (Solicitor) MARN 2016135
  • Carolyn Graydon (Principal Solicitor)
  • Catherine Holbeche (Solicitor)
  • Elisa Scarica (Solicitor)
  • Emma Svehla (Solicitor), MARN 1911604
  • Esther Pearson (Solicitor), MARN 2016077
  • James Clarke (Solcitor) MARN 2015894
  • Jeanne Renuka Senanayake (Solicitor)
  • Jessica Shinnick (Solicitor)
  • Jessica Marsh (Senior Lawyer)
  • Kon Karapanagiotidis (Solicitor)
  • Laura John (Senior Lawyer)
  • Louisa Wong (Senior Lawyer)
  • Michaela Rhode (Solicitor), MARN 1796054
  • Nicholas Newlands (Solicitor), MARN 1797775
  • Noosheen Mogadam (Senior Lawyer)
  • Rachel Saravanamuthu (Senior Lawyer)
  • Rebecca Lennon (Solicitor) MARN  1911553
  • Shabnum Cassim (Senior Lawyer)
  • Sylvie Alston (Solicitor)

Please see the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic) and the Migration Agents Registered Authority (MARA) Code of Conduct, for more information.