Legal advice

For whom?
Practicing lawyers, non-governmental organisations and other organisations can request the Migration Law Clinic for legal advice.
Furthermore the Clinic advises on its own initiative. In such cases the Clinic will approach practicing lawyers who are involved in legal proceedings that directly relate to an advice written by the Clinic or in which the Clinic would like to write a legal advice.
The Migration Law Clinic offers independent advice meaning that it does not write arguments, written observations or fill in ECtHR application forms for the party which has requested such an advice.

Legal issues
The Migration Law Clinic advises on all (substantive and procedural ) aspects of European migration law (EU law and European Convention on Human Rights). These include:

  • Asylum
  • Family reunification
  • Labour migration
  • Free movement of EU citizens
  • Detention

Selection of cases
The Migration Law Clinic will decide whether a request can be accepted on the basis of the capacity available, urgency and the type of the legal dispute. The Migration Law Clinic reserves the right to refuse a request without further reasoning.

Working methods
The Clinic usually advises in the form of expert opinion in proceedings lodged at the European Court of Human Rights, which lawyers can submit to the Court. In the context of proceedings lodged at the EU Court of Justice the Clinic also advises in the form of an expert opinion which parties can use to write or attach to their written observations for the Court.

The process of consultancy usually starts with a meeting with the lawyer(s) and/or organisations who are involved in the legal proceedings for which the Clinic delivers an advice. During the meeting all the legal questions of the case as well as the strategy on how to approach them will be discussed.

In case it is necessary to get a full picture of the case at issue the Clinic may request the parties to provide the Clinic with relevant documents from the case file or to allow the students to examine those documents. For this purpose, lawyers and organisations should ask for permission beforehand from their clients or alternatively anonymise those documents. The coordinator as well as the students of the Clinic have signed a confidentiality agreement.

The students of the Clinic write legal advice under intensive supervision of an expert of the migration law section.
Lawyers and/or organisations who are involved in the proceedings decide whether they wish to make use of the advice of the Clinic during the proceedings.

Request for advice
Requests for legal advice may be submitted to the coordinator of the Clinic (migrationlawclinic@vu.nl) or via the contact form which you can find under the tab ‘Contact’.

We kindly ask you to include the following information in your email:

  • To which field of law does the advice relate?
  • What is the importance of the legal question?
  • In which legal proceeding will the advice be submitted?
  • The date on which the advice has to be ready

If you wish to receive legal advice in the context of a (possible) reference for a preliminary ruling before the Court of Justice of the European Union then we kindly ask you to contact us as soon as possible as the Court uses brief time-limits. You may contact us as soon as the national court has indicated that it considers to request a preliminary ruling.