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The Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Centre (The AIRE Centre) promotes awareness of European Union (EU) law rights, and assists marginalised individuals and vulnerable people to assert them.

It focuses on EU law on the free movement of persons, including the residence rights of EU migrant citizens and their right to access benefits; EU Asylum law; and The European Convention on Human Rights (particularly issues relating to migration).

The AIRE Centre's in-house legal team provides free written legal advice on EU law to any charity, NGO, pro bono or legal aid lawyer that is advising an individual. They receive far more requests for advice than they can answer so we assist by drafting responses to some of the legal issues raised, often helping to tackle discrimination against EU nationals, to assist victims of domestic abuse, to keep families together and ensure that people have access to the benefits to which they are entitled.

Our collaboration with the AIRE Centre and two other international law firms is supported by Intralinks, which provides a dedicated dealroom to store research materials and completed advice precedents on a pro bono basis.

Acting for the AIRE Centre as intervenor in the Supreme Court

Our London Administrative and Public Law team regularly assist the charity with its neutral intervention in appeals before the Supreme Court. For example:

  • We acted on a case which raised an important point of principle regarding the proper approach to the assessment of a child's best interests in the context of transferring adoption proceedings to another Member State under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised. In its decision, which clarified the law in this area, the Court referred to points made in the AIRE Centre's "helpful intervention"; and
  • We represented the AIRE Centre when it intervened in a case before the Supreme Court and subsequently when the case was referred to the European Court of Justice; this concerned the position under Directive 2004/38/EC of a child who is a third country national but has been placed in the legal guardianship of EU citizens under the Islamic “kefalah” system in her own country.