We have 40 years’ experience between us of developing and implementing projects, legal services, legal education and research and policy work within the justice and human rights sector within Scotland and further afield.
Kirsty Thomson is a co-founder and Partner/Director of JustRight Scotland responsible for its development as well as our legal practice and project work. She also leads our Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre. Kirsty has an LLM in International Human Rights Law and 13 years’ experience in practice as a human rights lawyer within Scotland. During this time, she managed a specialist legal service within a national law centre where she developed a collaborative human rights based approach working in the area of women’s rights, children’s rights and asylum/immigration law.
Kirsty has experience of designing, implementing and managing innovative legal projects. She has worked with legal and non-legal partners at a national and international level in order to pilot and deliver legal services more effectively.
Kirsty is a member of various advisory and working groups in human rights law. She is a legal expert in human trafficking and has published best practice standards, training and written publications in this area. She co-convenes the Scottish Working Group of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and is the Scottish member for the Strategic Litigation Fund expert panel.
Jen Ang is a co-founder and Partner/Director of JustRight Scotland, responsible for its development as well as overseeing our think tank hub JustRight for All. She is a human rights lawyer with over 13 years’ experience qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture, and is regularly asked to speak, and contribute to research, policy and publications in these areas.
Jen is also an experienced lecturer in law and has been employed by the Open University for over 11 years, lecturing on Scots law and the law of England and Wales. She has acted as a consultant to third sector organisations seeking to widen the impact of their work by designing innovative training and promoting public legal education. She is an enthusiastic advocate of open education and widening access to education for all.
Sarah Crawford is a co-founder and Senior Associate and heads our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre legal project. She has an LLM in Human Rights Law and worked for over 8 years at a national law centre, 7 years of which was with migrant and refugee women and children who have experienced gender-based violence. Since she qualified as a lawyer in 2010, she has represented clients in a wide range of issues, including domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, human trafficking, asylum, access to housing and support, and compensation.
Sarah is an expert on the barriers facing women affected by violence and in tackling these in a strategic manner. She won a strategic test case involving a refugee women who fled domestic violence and could not access the protection routes afforded to women fleeing from abusive British partners. This case reached the level of the Supreme Court and is of national significance in that it will lead to a change in immigration rules. Sarah collaborated with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the UNHCR on this case.
Sarah is also an expert in the area of criminal injuries compensation for women who have been affected by violence. She has trained and published in this area as well as participating in national research and strategic casework.
Andy Sirel is a co-founder and Senior Associate and heads our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre. He has an LLM in International Human Rights Law and has been working in human rights law since 2010. He currently sits on the Law Society of Scotland’s Immigration & Asylum Sub-Committee as well as the Scottish Government’s Child Trafficking Strategy Group.
Andy is experienced in working directly with migrant children and young people, with a particular specialism in working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children and child victims of trafficking. He has represented migrant children in the national asylum and trafficking identification procedures, the immigration and asylum tribunals, and in Judicial Reviews in the Court of Session. He is an expert in age assessment, having successfully taken strategic litigation in this area as well as contributing to the drafting of the 2018 Scottish Government Practice Guidance on Age Assessment. He delivers training across the UK on age assessment best practice.
Prior to this, Andy worked as a Legal Officer at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, supervising the implementation of British, Irish and Cypriot judgments from the European Court of Human Rights. He also enjoys lecturing at the University of Glasgow, where he has taught European Human Rights Law for over 7 years.
Farida joined our team in April 2018 as a newly qualified solicitor. She works across several of our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre projects, with a focus on supporting our Migrant Destitution and Equalities work.
Farida completed her traineeship within a specialist legal service at a national law centre, working with women, children and young people in the areas of asylum, immigration and human rights law. Farida’s traineeship was supported by The Legal Education Foundation through the Justice First Fellowship scheme for aspiring social welfare lawyers.
Prior to her traineeship, Farida worked as a casework coordinator with British Red Cross Refugee Services for two and a half years. Farida has also previously worked for the University of Strathclyde as a tutor in Human Rights Law.
Maria Macleod is a trainee solicitor, currently working in our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre. Maria’s traineeship is supported by The Legal Education Foundation through the Justice First Fellowship scheme for aspiring social welfare lawyers. She originally joined our team in January 2018 as a Caseworker for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
During her undergraduate degree and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, Maria volunteered as a Student Adviser with the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic. She also previously worked for the Scottish CAB service as a Legal Adviser for over three and a half years.
Maria has completed a research Master’s degree (MPhil) in legal ethics, and expects to receive this degree later this year.
Jen joined our team in September 2018 as the co-coordinator of our Scottish Family Reunion Service, a joint collaboration between JustRight Scotland and the British Red Cross. She is the Family Reunion Project Officer for the British Red Cross and the caseworker for the SFRS.
Prior to this role, Jen worked as a Guardian for unaccompanied and asylum seeking children at the Scottish Guardianship Service. Jen has also previously worked with young people as a casework and groupwork coordinator for the British Red Cross Refugee Services.
Laura Ann Sheridan
Laura Ann joined our team in November 2018. She is a solicitor with over 7 years’ experience in civil litigation, and is an expert who has taken strategic cases in personal injury law. Laura Ann has represented victims of gender based violence in the civil courts and at the criminal injuries compensation tribunal.
Laura Ann works in the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She provides advice, information and representation to women through our helpline, surgery and legal casework, assisting the Centre to improve access to justice for women who have experienced gender based violence through the provision of rights-based information and tackling barriers such women face in a strategic manner.