THE ORIGIN OF THE FEDERAL ASSOCIATION
There are currently about 30 Refugee Law Clinics in Germany that are in different stages of development. In the past few years, we have been working to establish a stronger network between our various locations to make an exchange of experience, knowledge and resources possible.
First orientational meeting in Cologne, under the supervision of the Refugee Law Clinic Cologne
Plans for an “RLC-network” were starting to substantiate during the autumn conference of the Migration Law Network.
In a first network meeting in Cologne common interests and standpoints were verbalized.
With the help of the Migration Law Network, these stances were discussed in greater detail.
The efforts to enhance the networking between Law Clinics finally resulted in the formation of the federal association of the RLCs in Germany.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE FEDERAL ASSOCIATION
Why a federal association?
The goals of the articles of association are clearly pointed out as the establishment of a federal association which promotes the exchange of student based refugee law clinics among themselves and enhances the quality of the offered services of legal advice. (see § 3 of the articles of association)
To reach these objectives, the federal association will publish training materials and will specifically organize and support workshops (i.e. RLC Süd; a regional meeting of the southern RLCs in Germany). Furthermore, we will publish information on the recent developments in refugee law and other work-aids to consult. Besides that, we will also evaluate the needs and standards of our member associations, develop quality criteria, continually promote them and use these results to assist RLCs in the funding process.
Acting on a federal level, we also want to enhance the financial possibilities of our member associations. By pooling our interests and our bargaining power, we can attain more favourable terms and approach larger sponsors like EU funds, federal funds and other foundations. As a unified actor, we make ourselves perceptible for state institutions and strengthen the position to speak out in favour of and act in interest of all German refugee law clinics.
The structure of the federal association
The structure of the federal association is formed by the branch office in Berlin, the yearly elected executive board, the general assembly and the advisory board.
The executive board currently consists of 8 departments being the structural support of the RLCs, communication with the RLCs, administration and supervision of the branch office, conferences, networking, finances, public relations and the functional support of the RLCs.
Since November 2017 the branch office in Berlin has been established, which currently employs two employees. The branch office’s focus lies on quality management, the expansion of organizational structures and the continuous raising of funds.
The yearly agenda of the executive board and the branch office is being resolved at the annual general assembly of all member organizations. (see § 12 of the articles of association) The advisory board continuously advises the executive board and examines the annual report at the end of every term.