Dr. Martine Cassar has been appointed on 1st October 2016 as the new Commissioner for Refugees by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, in consultation with Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela.
She succeeded Mr. Mario Guido Friggieri, who was the second Maltese Refugee Commissioner since 2007. Dr. Cassar will be the third Maltese Refugee Commissioner, and the first woman to be fulfilling this role since this Office was set up in 2002.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Cassar headed the office of an International Organisation based in Malta for over two years. She graduated as a lawyer from the University of Malta in 2008, and specialised in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights at the Academie De Droit International Humanitaire et de Droits Humains in Geneva.
For over the past five years, she has been active in the field of migration, refugee law, and counter trafficking.
Dr. Cassar looks forward to taking on this responsibility to further ensure a totally independent, fair, efficient and swift eligibility determination process while, at the same time, guaranteeing the best quality possible regarding the hearing, analysis and determination of applications for international protection.
The Office of the Refugee Commissioner, headed by the Refugee Commissioner, is responsible for receiving the processes and determining applications for international protection in Malta as stipulated by the Refugees Act. It will also be providing support where necessary in the upcoming EU Presidency, which will be hosted by Malta and which will start in January 2017.