The ASRC Human Rights Law Program (HRLP) is a community legal centre and a member of the Federation of Community Legal Centres and 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.
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.
Phone and triage service
The triage service coordinates the intake of clients into the HRLP by conducting client interviews and gathering the necessary information to assess the best legal option for each client. The triage services includes free daily legal appointments to people who may drop in to receive on the spot legal advice. The program’s free phone legal service operates two days a week and in 2016-17 offered free legal advice to 475 refugees and people seeking asylum.
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.
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 registered Migration Agents:
Carolyn Graydon (Principal) – MARN 0105868
Kon Karapanagiotidis (Solicitor) – MARN: 0101919
Bridget Mannix (Solicitor) – MARN: 1800955
Emily Kate Bentley Singh (Solicitor) – MARN: 1384274 (Maternity Leave)
Jeanne Renuka Senanayake (Solicitor) – MARN: 0852686
Josephine Langbien (Solicitor) – MARN: 1792903
Laura Chalk (Solicitor) – MARN: 1795004
Louisa Wong (Solicitor) – MARN: 1465065
Michaela Rhode (Solicitor) – MARN: 1796054
Nhirushni Somasundaram (Solicitor) – MARN: 1572478
Nicholas Newlands (Solicitor) – MARN: 1797775
Noosheen Mogadam (Senior Lawyer) – MARN: 0601572
Rachel Saravanamuthu (Senior Lawyer) – MARN: 1794509
Shabnum Cassim (Solicitor) -MARN: 1572238
Stephanie Pashias (Solicitor) – MARN: 1794636
Please see the Migration Agents Registered Authority (MARA) Code of Conduct, for more information.