Nicole Francis, Chief Executive Officer
Adam Weiss, Legal Director
Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer
Saadiya Chaudary, Legal Project Manager (Maternity Leave)
Matthew Moriarty, Legal Project Manager (Maternity Cover)
Sarah St.Vincent, Legal Project Manager & Skadden Fellow
Emma Fenelon, Legal Officer & Harvard Fellow
Ishaani Shrivastava, Legal Project Officer & Harvard Fellow
Eleanor Sibley, Project Coordinator & Researcher
Rebecca Collins, Office Coordinator & Project Manager
Biljana Braithwaite, Legal Consultant
Catharina Harby, Legal Consultant
Chief Executive Officer
Nicole joined the AIRE centre in February 2012. She had spent the previous year working as a freelance consultant supporting schools with sixth forms with funding and curriculum change.
Prior to that Nicole spent over 15 years working in the public sector at a senior management level focussing on issues to do with education funding and quality, adult learning, economic development and regeneration in North and East London. She has led and managed significant change programmes and supported and developed staff throughout these difficult processes. Nicole is a key influencer who has built relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. She has led funding and quality negotiations with key learning providers and developed new projects and activities to meet local needs. Nicole has also led the strategic and business planning processes of a number of complex organisations. At the start of her career Nicole was a policy adviser at the Confederation of British Industry and spent a year based in their Brussels office.
Nicole is a trustee of two charities WPF Therapy Limited and Open Door (which provides counselling services to young people) and is an Independent Board member for One Support which is the services delivery arm of One Housing Group. She also mentors two young people based at schools in Tower Hamlets.
Nicole’s is an economics graduate who studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University and she also holds certificates in Management and Counselling. She speaks French and is a keen runner and ceramicist.
Adam became Legal Director of the AIRE Centre in February 2012, having been Assistant Director since February 2010. Before that, Adam was the Centre's staff lawyer (from September 2007), in a post funded by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation; indeed, Adam and the AIRE Centre secured the Foundation's first European fellowship. In this original post Adam was responsible for the Centre’s work on human trafficking and domestic violence, including legal advice and litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, as well as managing the Centre’s advice service.
Adam is now responsible for all of the Centre's legal work, most notably the AIRE Centre's advice service and litigation. Adam has taken on greater management responsibilities as well in supervising staff and interns and has taken a key role in grant writing and other fundraising activities. He has also played an important role in the organisational development of the Centre and taken a hands-on approach to widening and deepening the AIRE Centre’s work through successfully securing funding for new projects and recruitment. Adam conducts training on human trafficking, domestic violence, asylum and immigration and EU free movement law in the UK and widely throughout Europe. He is a part-time lecturer at Webster Graduate School, Regent’s College where he teaches grantwriting and NGO project management. Adam has published various articles on European law in academic journals.
Prior to the AIRE Centre, Adam completed a joint JD/LLM degree with Columbia University Law School (New York) and King’s College (University of London). He achieved a distinction in public international law from King's. Whilst studying in Paris in 2003-04 he attained a maîtrise and a diplôme d'études approfondies (MPhil equivalent) with highest honours in 18th-century French literature from the Université de Paris-IV (La Sorbonne). Adam completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University (USA) in 2002, concentrating on medieval studies.
Adam is originally from New York, USA and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2009. He speaks fluent French and Spanish as well as some Serbian and Modern Hebrew. Adam is regulated by the UK Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner at Level 3.
Nuala Mole founded the AIRE Centre and has worked for more than 25 years in the field of human rights. Initially specialising in immigration and asylum, she has broadened her work to include all aspects of international human rights law. She has written extensively on all aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights and on the free movement of persons under European Union law, with special attention to the interface between the two legal orders. She is on the Board of the European Human Rights Law Review and co-edits the Centre's monthly Bulletin of ECHR caselaw.
She has been part of the legal team in more than 70 cases before the ECtHR, the ECJ and landmark cases in the UK. She was chosen by the Council of Europe to represent human rights NGOs at the 50th anniversary of the European Convention in Rome in 2000 and was the Law Society's Human Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2001. She also received the 2005 Prix de l'Ancien - this Alumnus of the Year Prize is awarded each year to a former student of the College of Europe who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of the European ideal, the promotion of excellence, generosity, tolerance and respect for diversity, friendship and solidarity and open-mindedness.
Nuala has conducted training for the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the AIRE Centre for judges, public officials, lawyers and NGOs in 40 of the 46 member states of the Council of Europe on a wide range of topics including immigration, prisoners' rights, children's rights and family law. Since 2001, she has been assisting in curriculum development and implementation for judicial training centres in South East Europe. She works with national and international judges and public officials throughout Western, Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, but particularly in the Balkans, promoting familiarity and awareness with human rights standards and providing assistance in applying them in practice.
Before setting up the AIRE Centre she was the Director of the NGO Interights for a number of years. Nuala read law at St Anne's College, Oxford and European law at the College of Europe. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Greek.
Legal Project Manager
Saadiya first came to the AIRE Centre as an intern in 2005 and rejoined the team as Legal Project Manager in February 2010. In this role, Saadiya coordinates the Centre’s Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Law Project and undertakes third-party interventions and litigation before UK courts and tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. She is a central member of our advice service, particularly in matters of family law, domestic violence, trafficking and in issues of asylum relating to trafficking. Saadiya is also an important part of our training team and represents the Centre at conferences and meetings throughout Europe on a range of issues.
Prior to joining the AIRE Centre, Saadiya was Acting Legal Officer at the Kurdish Human Rights Project and she also carried out work with Reprieve as a member of the Gitmo Civilian Defence Team. Following training at Bindmans LLP, Saadiya qualified as a solicitor in April 2008 and she holds a Masters with distinction in International Law. She has authored & co-authored a number of publications including a chapter contribution in 'Human Trafficking Handbook: Recognising Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery in the UK'.
She speaks Punjabi and Urdu.
Legal Project Manager & Skadden Fellow
Sarah St Vincent is a lawyer and Skadden Fellow at the AIRE Centre and provides direct legal services to women under EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights. She joined the AIRE Centre as an intern in May 2009 and returned to take up her Skadden-funded post in November 2011 after completing her Juris Doctor degree. Her work includes a special emphasis on survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, pregnant women, homeless women, women with disabilities and women facing re-entry barriers after completing prison terms.
Prior to becoming a lawyer for the AIRE Centre, Sarah maintained a dual focus on human rights and gender. She has previously worked or interned for the International Commission of Jurists, the Brennan Centre for Justice at NYU School of Law, American Jewish World Service and Physicians for Human Rights, focusing on international human rights and international humanitarian law. She has also served as a domestic violence hotline counsellor in the United States and wrote her master’s thesis on transgender rights in Vietnam. In 2011, she published a Note in the Michigan Law Review titled ‘Coercion’s Common Threads: Addressing Vagueness in the Federal Criminal Prohibitions on Torture by Looking to State Domestic Violence Laws’.
Sarah holds a B.A. in English Literature and Asian Studies from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She passed the New York bar exam in 2011 and expects to be admitted to the New York bar by summer 2012. She speaks Vietnamese and some French, and is continuing to study Mandarin Chinese and Khmer.
Legal Officer & Harvard Fellow
Emma began at AIRE in October 2011, after receiving a Satter Human Rights Fellowship, designed to assist the promotion of human rights in response to mass atrocity or widespread and severe patterns of human rights abuse, awarded by Harvard Law School. Under the supervision of Biljana Braithwaite, Emma was responsible for implementing the various projects that the AIRE Centre is undertaking in the Balkans generally, and in Serbia and Montenegro specifically. She also drafted legal advice for the AIRE legal advice services, contributed to applications lodged before the European Court of Human Rights, drafted case notes and co-authored an article for the AIRE Human Rights Bulletin.
Following the end of her fellowship Emma has joined the AIRE Centre as a Legal Project Manager. From 1st October 2012 Emma will be working on two projects. The first, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, will involve empowering migrants in Great Britain who belong (or who are perceived as belonging) to racial or ethnic minorities to challenge institutional discrimination and disregard for their European-law rights.
The second project will involve overseeing the completion of a project funded by the European Commission, ‘Family reunification: a barrier or facilitator for integration?', a transnational research project assessing the impact of family migration legislation and policies on the integration of (non-EU) third country nationals.
Having completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin, which included a year spent at Washington and Lee Law School, Virginia, Emma completed a Masters in Law concentrating in International Human Rights at Harvard Law School. She has experience working at the European Court of Human Rights as a legal trainee, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as a legal intern, and at the Harvard Human Rights Clinic as a team member working on the medical profession's culpability in the force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo.
Emma is undertaking the BPTC part-time on a Jules Thorn scholarship from Middle Temple.
Legal Project Officer & Harvard Fellow
Ishaani joined the AIRE Centre in September 2012 upon receiving an Irving R. Kaufman Fellowship from Harvard Law School, given to further work in the public interest.
Ishaani's work is split among the different activities at the AIRE Centre. Her involvement in the advice and litigation work involves drafting legal advice on European Union migration law, including the law on free movement and asylum. The beneficiaries of this work are some of the most marginalised people in Europe. Ishaani will also be involved in litigation work before the European Court of Human Rights.
Further, Ishaani will be working under the supervision of Biljana Braithwaite in implementing the projects the AIRE Centre is undertaking in the Balkans region. This focuses on assisting the countries in the region to apply the European Convention on Human Rights and address some of the key areas of legal and judicial reform through conducting judicial training, court monitoring and most recently, the production of a database of all judgments, case summaries and expert commentaries relevant to the region in the local languages, which has the support of the respective Ministries of Justice, Government Agents and Judicial Training Centres. She will also be assisting in the production of the AIRE Centre's Legal Bulletin.
Ishaani completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge. She completed Masters in Law at Cambridge in 2009 and at Harvard Law School in 2012. She has experience working as a research assistant in public international law, an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as a paralegal in the International and Group Claims department at Leigh Day & Co. solicitors, as a legal volunteer at the Free Representation Unit and recently, as part of a small team at the Harvard Human Rights Clinic working on allegations of torture and ill-treatment by medical professionals working at Guantanamo Bay.
Ishaani undertook the BVC on a Mansfield scholarship from Lincoln's Inn and will be starting pupillage in October next year.
Project Coordinator & Researcher
Eleanor is project manager of ‘Family reunification: a barrier or facilitator for integration?', a transnational research project that will assess the impact of family migration legislation and policies on the integration of (non-EU) third country nationals. The project, led by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, involves social and legal research across 7 member states.
Eleanor joined the AIRE Centre as an intern in October 2010. As a caseworker she worked on appeals before the immigration and social security tribunals, assisted in Third Party Interventions before the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), drafted submissions for cases before the ECtHR and produced advice on EU and ECHR law for individuals, NGOs and legal representatives. She continues to work on cases before the First Tier and Upper Tribunals and has undertaken advocacy in the social security tribunal.
Before joining the AIRE Centre, Eleanor worked in health policy research, focussing on involving marginalised groups in policy making and service design. She was an honorary researcher at Imperial College London, where she co-authored papers on behaviour change interventions, which have been published in Lancet Infectious Diseases and other clinical journals. She has also worked as a parliamentary research intern.
Eleanor graduated with a BA (hons) in Law and Philosophy from Cambridge University. She holds an MPhil in Philosophy from Cambridge, and an MA from Bristol University. She recently completed a PGDL, alongside freelance work, and is currently completing a part-time BPTC, for which she holds a scholarship from Inner Temple.
Legal Project Manager (Maternity Cover)
Matthew joined the AIRE Centre in July 2012 to coordinate the Centre’s Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Law Project and undertake third-party interventions and litigation before UK courts and tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. He is also member of our advice service, particularly in matters of domestic violence, trafficking and in issues of asylum relating to trafficking.
After studying for his Bachelors in Law at Kings College, London, Matthew completed a Masters in Law, specialising in domestic and international human rights. Prior to coming to the AIRE Centre Matthew spent two years as an OISC level 2 accredited Caseworker at Refugee and Migrant Justice [RMJ], representing clients at every stage of their asylum, immigration and deportation applications and appeals, whilst also studying for the Bar Vocational Course.
Matthew is now a qualified barrister, having completed his full pupillage at Tooks Chambers, where he worked on a range of cases, including in criminal defence and various appeals drawing on human rights law in different guises. He took part in a trial observation in Bahrain during his first six and was instructed in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth courts during his second six. He gained further experience as an advocate whilst practising criminal law and taking instructions in asylum and immigration appeals as a third six pupil at 23 Essex Street Chambers.
After completing his studies Matthew initially interned at the Kurdish Human Rights Project, working on a project to prevent damaging reform of the European Convention of Human Rights. During his internship he also conducted a fact-finding mission to South-East Turkey and produced articles, case summaries and other research for the Legal Review and ‘newsline’ publications. Before going to RMJ, Matthew worked as a Probation Service Officer for Sussex Probation Area [now SSPT] and a Higher Executive Officer under the UKBA, working in particular with unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
Office Coordinator & Project Manager
Since joining the team in March 2010 Rebecca has been in charge of the day-to-day running of the office and has developed new skills in financial management, accounting and human resources. She is responsible for event management, organising staff travel and diaries, IT and maintenance issues, and recruiting, training and mentoring interns.
In December 2011, Rebecca took over Project Managing AIRE's Comic Relief funded project "Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Young People". This three year project provides legal training on protecting victims of trafficking and is aimed at legal practitioners and other service providers - such as charities, local government departments, and police officers. Rebecca coordinates three conferences around the UK each year that cover areas such as identification of trafficking victims, EU law, the National Referral Mechanism, family law and protection proceedings involving trafficked persons and their family members, and the criminal law aspects of trafficking.
Prior to joining the AIRE Centre, Rebecca studied English and Philosophy at the University of Leeds specialising in Romantic, Victorian and Feminist literature and metaphysics, logic, and ethics. In 2008 she undertook a Masters in Human Rights from UCL (London) with a dissertation on the nature and proliferation of sexual violence in the conflict in The Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding states.
Rebecca has spent time teaching English in Tanzania and done charity work in Guyana, Bosnia and the UK.
Biljana has been associated with the AIRE Centre since 1998 and currently runs the Centre's South Eastern Europe programmes with the assistance of Catharina Harby. In 1999, Biljana designed, obtained funding for, and implemented the first comprehensive training programme on the European Convention on Human Rights in Serbia and Montenegro which has since become part of the country's formal judicial training programme. Biljana regularly lectures on the European Convention, focusing in particular on property rights, and the Court's jurisprudence from South Eastern Europe. She is also co-editor of the AIRE Centre's Human Rights Bulletin, an international legal review that provides a monthly analysis of key human rights judgments by the Strasbourg Court for the legal communities in the new member states of the Council of Europe, particularly in South Eastern Europe.
From 2004-8 Biljana was based in Washington DC where she helped establish AIRE Centre USA. AIRE Centre USA aims to promote for the benefit of the public the sound administration of the law among states which have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and/or treaties establishing and regulating the European Union. It also seeks to promote an awareness of international human rights law through education and training in the USA and abroad and to keep the AIRE Centre alumni from across the Atlantic in touch with each other and with the AIRE Centre.
Biljana holds a law degree from Belgrade University and an LLM in Public International Law from Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Lund University, Sweden. She speaks fluent Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, English and basic German.
Catharina Harby is a Swedish lawyer who has been working with the AIRE Centre as a Legal Consultant since 2000. She runs, together with her colleague Biljana Braithwaite, the AIRE Centre's programme in Central and Eastern Europe. She has lectured on the substantive and procedural aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights throughout Europe, and has been involved in litigating a number of cases at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. These cases have concerned inter alia the proposed deportation of an AIDS sufferer from the UK to Brazil and a property dispute in Portugal.
Catharina also lectures part time at the International Relations Programme at Regent's College, London.
As part of a team of European experts, Catharina has been involved in the drafting of a human rights training manual for professional target groups across the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Further, she is the co-author of the Council of Europe's handbook on The Right to a Fair Trial, and a contributor of case comments to the European Human Rights Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell). She is the co-editor of the Human Rights Alerter (Sweet & Maxwell) and the Assistant Editor of the AIRE Centre's Human Rights Bulletin, which provides monthly analysis of key human right judgments by the European Court of Human Rights.
Catharina studied law at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, where she obtained a Master of Law and speaks fluent Swedish and English, as well as basic French. In 2007 she was short listed for the Peter Duffy Award at the Liberty/Justice Human Rights Awards.