The European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA) is a forum of legal practitioners promoting the highest human rights standards for the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and other persons in need of international protection in their daily individual counselling and advocacy work.

The ELENA network established in 1985 now extends across 38 European states and involves some 500 lawyers and legal counsellors. It is coordinated by the Secretariat of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in Brussels in close consultation with the ELENA National Coordinators. National Co-ordinators of the network include legal practitioners, legal academics and legal officers in ECRE member organisations.

National Co-ordinators of the network include legal practitioners, legal academics and legal officers in ECRE member organisations.

Our objectives:

  • Provide and reinforce contact between legal practitioners in different European countries to promote cooperation on individual cases and practice;
  • study the implementation of national, European and international law relating to refugees;
  • organise seminars on specific topics relating to refugee law and make the results available to practising lawyers;
  • promote the development of national networks of legal practitioners specialising in asylum law.

For more information please see “the leaflet” and “the ELENA Index”.

Our latest publications

  • ECRE/ELENA Legal Note on Ageing Out and Family Reunification – Read more »
  • ECRE/ELENA Case law note on the application of the Dublin Regulation to family reunion cases – Read more »
  • ECRE/ELENA Legal Note on Access to Legal Aid in Europe – Read more »
  • Information Note on Dublin transfers post-Tarakhel: Update on European case law and practice – Read more »
  • Celebrating 30 years of the ELENA Network: 1985-2015 – Read more »
  • ECRE-ELENA Information Note on Syrians seeking protection in Europe – Read more »
  • UNHCR-IARLJ-ELENA summary report on an informal meeting of experts on refugee claims relating to sexual orientation and gender identity – Read more »
  • ECRE-ELENA Research on ECHR Rule 39 Interim Measures – Read more »

Our events

ECRE has been running specialist and introductory refugee law courses for twenty five years. The topics of the courses are selected by the annual meeting of ELENA coordinators in response to needs identified by practitioners. The courses are aimed at legal counsellors and lawyers from across Europe who defend or who are interested in defending cases concerning refugees and asylum seekers.

ELENA Courses have received the cooperation of leading academics and practitioners such as Prof. Hathaway, Prof. Goodwin-Gill, Prof. Elspeth Guild and Nuala Mole.

For more information regarding ELENA Courses, please contact Sofia Bonatti, Legal Officer, at SBonatti@ecre.org.