We have over 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.
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.
Jenny Cook joined our team in April 2019 as Practice Manager. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology and over 5 years’ experience working for charities.
Jenny has also held positions in administrative teams across the United Kingdom, gaining experience in Finance, Human Resources and Quality Assurance. She has most recently worked with a Glasgow-based charity providing support to asylum seekers and refugees.
As the Practice Manager, Jenny manages the daily operations of JustRight Scotland and is the first point of contact for general enquiries about our organisation.
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.
Anushya joined our team in August 2019 as a solicitor in our Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre. She has an LLM in Human Rights Law and has been working in the field of migrant rights since 2005.
Anushya completed her traineeship with a public authority focussing on public protection, and since qualifying, she has practiced as an Asylum and Immigration solicitor in private practice firms, primarily representing victims of torture, human trafficking, and gender-based violence.
While completing her legal studies, Anushya worked as a caseworker at a national law centre. Prior to that she worked as a Counter-Trafficking Development Officer with the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA Service Service) for a number of years, providing intensive support and advocacy for female victims of trafficking. She also worked at Scottish Refugee Council for four years as an asylum support adviser, specialising in preventing destitution and developing the organisation’s asylum support appeals work. Anushya also has experience of working in a support service for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, and as a funding officer for a UK wide funding body.
Karen has specialised in litigation and in disability, incapacity and mental health law since 2002. She worked within a law centre for 16 years and provided legal representation to clients with mental ill health, learning disability or brain injury, as well as to their relatives or carers. Throughout she had extensive general civil litigation experience. She is appointed by the Court as Safeguarder under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 200 at Glasgow and at Paisley Sheriff Courts. From 2014 to 2019 she was accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in mental health law and in incapacity and disability law. She is a Solicitor Advocate. She is a Legal Member of the Mental Health Tribunal and the Housing and Property Tribunal. She is a member of the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee. She tutors in Civil Litigation and advanced civil litigation at Glasgow University in the diploma for legal practice. She is a volunteer member of the Action for Children’s Independent Review Panel.
Lyndsay Monaghan joined our team in April 2019 as a newly qualified solicitor. Lyndsay completed her traineeship within a private practice firm, with a strong focus on family law and civil court work.
As a law student at the University of Strathclyde in 2015, she was one of the first student volunteers at the Law Clinic for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC), assisting with the SWRC helpline and casework. She undertook a summer internship with the SWRC and continued to volunteer on the helpline throughout her traineeship and post qualification. She was appointed Co-Student Director of the Law Clinic from 2015-2016. Lyndsay works in the SWRC, providing advice, information and representation to women who have experienced gender based violence through our helpline, surgery and legal casework, as well as delivering training and awareness raising events.
Maria Macleod is a trainee solicitor, currently working in our Scottish Anti-Trafficking and Exploitation 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.
Maria has a research Master’s degree (MPhil) in legal ethics from the University of Strathclyde. 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.
Hanan joined our team in April 2019 as a Caseworker for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre.
Hanan is a graduate of the University of Glasgow (LLB Honours) and the University of Strathclyde (Diploma in Professional Legal Practice). She has experience working as a caseworker at a national law centre and at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic within the Immigration Unit, where she was Immigration Unit Coordinator throughout her studies at the University of Strathclyde. As part of her role, Hanan was involved in assisting to prepare fresh claims for asylum for people seeking asylum whose appeal rights had been exhausted. She was also involved in setting up and delivering a Public Legal Education project for asylum seekers and refugees living in Glasgow with a team of law students. Hanan has also worked as a Destitution Adviser at the Scottish Refugee Council as part of the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service, providing support and advocacy to destitute asylum seekers.
Rachel joined our team in April 2019 as a part-time Caseworker for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. She is also a Caseworker at the British Red Cross, where she provides practical and emotional support and advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees with complex needs.
Rachel has an LLB and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Strathclyde. Rachel has volunteered on the Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis Helpline for the last 3 years, providing support to women and girls who have experienced gender based violence. Rachel has previously worked as a paralegal at an international law firm, and as a law tutor and legal research assistant for the University of Strathclyde. She also spent 3 months volunteering in a rural community in El Salvador, working on an international development project.
Senior Communications Consultant
Karin Goodwin is an award winning social affairs journalist and communication specialist based in Glasgow. She is a freelance reporter for the Sunday National and both contributes to and chairs investigations platform The Ferret. Other current work includes community media projects as well as her consultancy role at Just Right Scotland.
She has written for a wide-range of Scottish and UK publications and websites, worked as a researcher on radio docs and short films, and managed a UK-wide grassroots charity – the Pavement – producing a magazine/online resource for homeless people. She has provided communications support from content production to strategy for a number of third sector organisations.
Senior Policy and Public Affairs Consultant
Talat has been working across equalities issues for over 12 years, she is a campaigner and consultant who has worked on system and policy change for women, focusing on intersecting inequalities.
She was previously the director of a national organisation focused on women’s equality in the workplace. She has a background in public affairs, social research and training and development. She has previously worked across further and higher education, mental health and wellbeing and men’s violence against women. Talat has managed a number of projects in the Third Sector and worked in the Scottish Parliament as an equalities researcher.
In 2014, she co-founded, and currently chairs, the cross-party campaign group Women 50:50, advocating for fair representation of women in councils and in the Scottish Parliament. She is a member of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has been a board member and chair for a number of charities focused on equality and international development.
Senior Legal Consultant
Gwyneth is dual-qualified as a solicitor in Scotland and a solicitor advocate in England and Wales. She has specialised in social security law for over twenty years, working at Child Poverty Action Group, Shelter, Mary Ward Legal Centre and Camden Community Law Centre.
She has provided second-tier support to frontline workers in organisations such as Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Women’s Aid refuges and disability charities, in relation to their clients’ welfare rights. This was initially while working on the advice line at Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, then by taking specialist referrals to her own solicitor practice to represent clients at the Upper Tribunal, in discrimination proceedings at the Sheriff Court, and in judicial review proceedings at the Court of Session. She has extensive experience of pursuing this type of public law challenge, right up to the European Court of Justice.
Gwyneth is passionately committed to using human rights and equalities law to hold government to account by challenging legislation, policy and practice that discriminates against people with protected characteristics, such as disability. She has joined us as Senior Legal Consultant to our Scottish Just Law Centre to help build and pilot a strategic litigation model across the social welfare law areas of welfare benefits, housing, community care, debt and employment, with the aim of bringing about large-scale social justice.
Casework Volunteer, Scottish Family Reunion Service
Emily is a Casework Volunteer for the Scottish Family Reunion Service. She is also a Caseworker at the British Red Cross, where she provides practical and emotional support and advocacy for destitute asylum seekers through asylum support applications and appeals. She is part of the duty team, which supports vulnerable people in acute crisis, such as those fleeing from domestic violence, trafficking or experiencing mental health crises.
She has been with the British Red Cross since 2017. In her previous role she provided travel assistance for reuniting families, and integration support to access rights and entitlements following the families’ arrival in the UK.
Emily has a Masters in International Development from the University of Edinburgh. She spent two months volunteering and conducting research in the refugee camps in Northern Greece.