Jean Demars is the Director of the Public Interest Law Centre.
Jean originally moved to London in 2000 to join The Simon Community where he lived and worked with homeless people at a night shelter in King’s Cross. He went on working in a variety of frontline and management roles across the homelessness and migration sectors.
Between 2012-15, he was Head of Housing at Praxis Community Projects. He set up and developed a housing and support programme for undocumented migrants, including the creation of a cross-subsidy housing model financed through social investment. He also developed Street Legal, a partnership providing immigration advice and accommodation for rough sleepers with No Recourse to Public Funds.
In 2016-17 Jean researched the unlawful detention and removal of EEA nationals sleeping rough as part of his Clore Social Leadership Fellowship, exposing the collaboration of homelessness charities and local authorities with Immigration Enforcement. He subsequently led on pre-litigation research and provided expert reports to the High Court for the Judicial Review, which successfully quashed government’s policy. It is also during that time that he met with Paul Heron and joined PILU as an associate.
Jean subsequently became a joint founder of the Public Interest Law Centre. He spearheaded PILC’s move to become an independent law centre and registered charity.