Human Rights Law Centre

Refugee Clinic

HRLC's Refugee Clinic was established in February 2020 and works in collaboration with Across Borders and Saint Andrews Refugee Services (StARS). It is the first of its kind in the UK.







StARS is a Cairo based organisation, established in 1979 to improve the quality of life of refugees and vulnerable migrants in Egypt. Their Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) is currently the only legal aid provider for those seeking refugee status in Egypt. The Clinic operates to support the work of RLAP through casework assistance and research.

Opportunities for students

UoN students can undertake placements in the Clinic during which they will work remotely with legal advisors from StARS Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) on Refugee Status Determination (RSD) applications with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cairo and carry out country of origin research. They work under the supervision of Director and Co-founder Laura Wills (HRLC) and colleagues at StARS.

Information for asylum seekers and refugees

The Refugee Clinic is unable to work on asylum applications made in the UK. If you are claiming asylum in the UK, there are many organisations that can support you, including the British Red Cross. You can find out more information about their services and localities on their website.

If you are a refugee or asylum seeker in Cairo and require support, please contact StARS directly. Information about their services and contact details can be found on their website.

Across Borders

This initiative has been made possible by funding gained by Across Borders. Across Borders was established in 2016 by a group of individuals who used to work at St. Andrews Refugee services in Cairo, Egypt.

When they returned to the UK they wanted to set up an organisation that provide financial and legal support to organisations working in the Middle East with refugees and migrants.

If you would like to support the work of Across Borders you can make a donation.




Laura Wills-2

Laura Wills

Refugee Clinic Director and Co-founder

Siobhan Allen

Siobhan Allen

Former Refugee Status Determination Coordinator at StARS and Refugee Clinic Co-founder

 Fiona Cameron

Fiona Cameron

Consultant, former StARS Executive Director ​and Refugee Clinic Co-founder


Student caseworkers

Dana Ali

Dana Ali  – Final Year LLB

I am currently a final year LLB Law student at the University of Nottingham. I have recently completed a placement with the Rights Lab, researching and assessing national antislavery law and policy in Qatar, and their implementation of relevant international legislative provisions that have been ratified. My partaking in the HRLC and StARS Refugee Clinic therefore stems from my interest in furthering my knowledge of the applied aspects of international law.

What is specifically appealing about working with StARS is the potential for gaining a practical insight into the multifaceted issues relating to refugee law, particularly in Egypt, where it stands as a unique organisation and a sole provider of legal aid and advocacy to refugees and asylum seekers.

Megan Firth

Megan Firth – Final Year Law with European Law

I am a final year Law with European Law student. My interest in Refugee and Migration Law stems from a work experience placement in my first year for a charity specialising in providing services to minorities and migrant women and families. I was required to research the legal services available for migrants in London, and write a report on my findings.

During my year abroad I took a module in International Migration Law, for which I did research and wrote my coursework about statelessness in the context of revocation of citizenship of individuals who have left the United Kingdom to join ISIS.

Learning about the lengthy and difficult processes that refugees have to go through led me to work with the Human Rights Law Centre and St Andrew’s Refugee Services. With rising numbers of asylum seekers, it is clear that the work that StARS does is incredibly important in supporting them through the process, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work on these cases.

Oliver Leicester

Oliver Leicester – International Law LLM

I am currently a Law LLM student at the University of Nottingham. I have a BA in Politics and International Relations which I also received at the University of Nottingham. I do not have a law background, but I am quickly learning and finding the transition very rewarding. 

I am very pleased to be working with StARS on this volunteering opportunity. I am grateful for the chance to apply my interest in international law and current affairs in a project which helps asylum seekers and refugees. I look forward to what the future holds after graduating in the summer

Nimrah Taimour

Nimrah Taimour – Final Year Law LLB

I am a final year law student at the University of Nottingham. Volunteering with Student Action for Refugees to meet and help refugees with learning English put into perspective just some of the difficulties they face as an effect of forced migration. This developed my interest in the Clinic, as I was keen to be of assistance in learning what can be done to help.

I believe the work that organisations like StARS do is important now more than ever, with current global affairs, and the need for legal representation for refugees is crucial. The real-life impact of the work that is done is both large and personal, so I believe it is important to empathise with the genuine difficulties and struggles refugees face, especially as they go through the lengthy and complex legal process to seek asylum.



Human Rights Law Centre

School of Law
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8506