The following reply was sent in by Dr Alex Scerri Herrera in response to an earlier post of mine. In the interest of fairness responses are not open to comments unless on points of fact.

From Dr Alex Scerri Herrera

I am writing to you with reference to the article you wrote referring to my appointment to the Refugee Appeals Board. Whilst I accept your criticism as naturally you have every right to criticize my appointment, I feel that you have either not done your homework correctly or you have purposely chosen to leave out the facts on the basis of which my appointment was considered.

You claim that my appointment was based on nepotism due to my family ties and the fact that I am relatively young to be sitting on a government board, however I can assure you that I have the qualifications as well as the competence to be sitting on such a board.

My appointment was based on a number of facts which you failed to highlight. I have a bachelor as well as a doctor of laws from the University of Malta which should give you an indication of the fact that I do have profound knowledge of domestic legislation, in fact I also studied Refugee Law and Policy Issues during such term. Following my 6 years of study at the University of Malta I also attained a Masters from the Utrecht University in Public International Law with Specialization in International Human Rights Law.

When a refugee or a potential immigrant is appealing to the Refugee Appeals Board such appeal is not simply a matter of procedure but entails an examination of each application to see whether an individual’s human rights have been or are likely to be breached. For this reason, I feel that I am not only qualified and competent to be on such a board but an ideal candidate to ensure that applicants’ human rights are properly safeguarded and examined based on international human rights standards. I feel that it would be wrong to undermine my potential simply based on a lack of working experience as after all I am still 24 years of age and I have more academic knowledge on the subject than most people.