Legal Aid

Enhancing public awareness and facilitating legal reform

Legal Internship Programs

Social and professional integration assistance

The CLA is one of the few organizations in Bulgaria, offering free legal aid to migrants and refugees. The work of the Center involves direct administrative representation and litigation of individual cases of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in front of administrative authorities and courts on the territory of Bulgaria and Europe. The CLA is also actively engaged in protecting the basic human rights of undocumented migrants and it representation includes weekly visits to the Detention center for undocumented migrants in Sofia, Busmantsi district.

In November 2009 the lawyer of the CLA, together with the head lawyer for Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants, represented the rights of an immigrant from Chechnia in front of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on a preliminary ruling case , initiated by the Administrative Court in Sofia. This has been the first case in front of the ECJ in regard to the application of the EU Return Directive (DIRECTIVE 2008/115/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals). The decision of the Luxembourg court has influenced the rights of migrants and their basic right of freedom not only in Bulgaria, but on the territory of all European countries and has been precedent in terms of importance of the issues elaborated and the accelerated procedural development. The text of the decision is accessible here.

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