Matthew Evans, Director
Nuala Mole, Senior Lawyer
Biljana Braithwaite, Legal Consultant
Beatrice Blois, Legal Project Officer
Saadiya Chaudary, Legal Project Manager
Catharina Harby, Legal Consultant
David Joseph, Chief Financial Officer
Imogen Richmond-Bishop, Communications and Development Manager
Markella Papadouli, Legal Project Manager
Matthew Evans has been the Director of the AIRE Centre since 2013. Matthew is a practicing Solicitor and, before joining the AIRE Centre, worked as a legal aid lawyer and then as the Managing Solicitor of the Prisoners Advice Service for 6 years.
As well as being responsible for the running of the AIRE Centre, Matthew undertakes strategic litigation in both the domestic UK and European Courts. Recent cases include Janah and Benkarbouche where the Court of Appeal dis-applied parts of the UK State Immunity Laws as being incompatible with the EU Charter, NA (Pakistan) a reference to the CJEU concerning the retained and derived rights of residence of a domestic violence sufferer, and Oliari and others v. Italy which extended the interpretation of the ECHR principles concerning same-sex individuals who enter stable intimate relationships. Matthew gave evidence to the Joint Committee on the draft Modern Slavery Bill and has written widely on human rights issues for a variety of publications.
Matthew received a Bachelor of Laws and an MSc degree in politics from Southampton University. He has an LLM in labour law, and postgraduate diploma in mental health risk from the LSE, and a diploma in voluntary sector management from CASS business school. Matthew is currently completing an MA in EU law at Kings College London.
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.
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.
Legal Project Officer
Beatrice joined the AIRE Centre in 2013 as a legal caseworker and now works as Project Officer for the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans programme.
Beatrice assists the Balkans department in providing capacity building and training to Judges in the Western Balkans on the European Convention on Human Rights and European law. She has written for the AIRE Centres Legal Bulletin and works on the online database of human rights jurisprudence.
Prior to joining the AIRE Centre Beatrice worked in the Argentine Senate Chamber as a Research Assistant. Her research tasks concerned analysing national and international media legislation and agricultural tax law for which she drafted reports and policy commentaries. During her studies she was elected Campaigns and Fundraiser Officer for her Student Union for two years.
Beatrice holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Essex, an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and a GDL from the University of Law. She has been awarded a scholarship to continue her studies for the Bar Professional Training Course in the coming years. She speaks Spanish, French, English and basic Italian.
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'. Saadiya also speaks Punjabi and Urdu.
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.
Chief Finance Officer
David joined the AIRE Centre’s team in January 2013 as its chief financial officer with responsibility for developing the organisation’s finance function. David is a chartered certified accountant and studied charity management and finance at London South Bank University.
He has a background in financial and management accounting, treasury management, fundraising and voluntary treasurer training and development. Prior to working in the charity sector, David had worked in manufacturing, transport and the bookmaking industry. Since the late 1990s he has held roles as finance director or director of resources at national and local charities. David is also an active volunteer and trustee at a charity supporting victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. In his spare time, he is a keen walker and is catching up on reading the old classics.
Communications and Development Manager
Imogen is a human rights campaigner and has been working as communications and development manager for the AIRE centre since September 2016. She has eight years experience working on human rights issues around the globe, including in South America, the Middle East and in Europe.
Her current focus is on migration within Europe, she has worked for over a year on projects with refugees in Northern France, assisting with translation, providing information, and documenting abuses. Her most recent assignment prior to joining the AIRE centre was in Greece with Together For Better Days where she worked in refugee camps on the island of Lesvos and in Northern Greece. She was team lead on the communal kitchen project and activities coordinator for the Elpida Home Camp. The Elpida camp was one the first privately funded refugee camps in Greece, and aimed to not only meet all humanitarian standards but to also provide a humane and dignified accommodation solution for refugees who are currently in the asylum process.
Her secondary interest is in food production and food rights. For over a year she was the director of the Real Junk Food Project in Brighton, working on implementing food waste prevention policies and involved in research surround food poverty and food waste. She is now a consultant for numerous food waste iniatives worldwide. Before this she conducted research in South America on soy farming and its environmental and social consequences, specifically large scale human rights abuses of internally displaced peoples.
Imogen is fully fluent in French and English, with a good working knowledge of both Spanish and Portuguese.
Legal Project Manager
Markella has been associated with the AIRE Centre since 2012 and returned in 2014. As Legal Project Manager, Markella manages the Esmee Fairburn funded Trafficking project, focusing on the provision of free legal advice and representation to victims of trafficking, the delivery of training to relevant stakeholders and the representation of the AIRE Centre at conferences and meetings worldwide on asylum and trafficking. Markella also works on two other projects; the EU TRACKS project exploring the nexus between asylum and trafficking through the vantage point of vulnerable asylum seekers and the EU FIRST project focusing on victims of domestic of violence and gender based violence.
Markella is a Registered European Lawyer (Greek qualified) and a member of the AIRE Centre strategic litigation team focusing on asylum and trafficking cases. She is also a Lecturer at the London South Bank University on European Asylum Law and Policy and International Refugee Law.
Markella studied Law at the University of Athens and holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Warwick on International Relations and Human Rights. Her dissertation focused on the role of UNHCR in monitoring implementation of EU legislation and policies on migration and asylum. She further holds a Diploma in Grants Management and has completed the Odysseus Network Summer School in European Law and Policy on Immigration and Asylum.
Prior to joining the AIRE Centre, Markella was the National Expert on Greece for the European Database on Asylum Law in 2013 and has also worked for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, the International Rescue Committee and UNHCR Greece. Markella speaks fluent Greek, English, French and Spanish as well as basic German.