Lunch Seminar: Presentation by Doctoral Research Fellow Özlem Gürakar-Skribeland

Özlem Gürakar-Skribeland is a visiting Doctoral Research Fellow at the NCHR from IKRS. She will start the session by briefly talking about her ongoing PhD research on the legality of forced return of migrants from Europe to transit countries. She will then present a draft article she has written, which is currently under review by a journal.

The article is titled The Return Directive: Migration, Asylum and Illegality.


This article argues that the current conceptualisation of (i) legal migration, (ii) asylum, and (iii) irregular/illegal migration and return as distinct but complementary policy categories is imprecise and potentially misleading.

It starts out by discussing how the Return Directive can apply to require the return of (increasingly many) persons with actual international protection needs, and argues that this point was not fully understood by the European Parliament at the time of the directive’s adoption.

The article contends that this oversight was in part due to the use of “illegal immigrant/immigration” terminology throughout the legislative process, which reinforces (i) legal versus illegal migration and (ii) migration versus asylum binaries that do not match the way the directive applies, thereby interfering with a clear understanding of its scope.

The article thus aims to contribute to understanding the interaction between European migration laws, as well as contribute, from a legal angle, to the social-science scholarship on migration terminology and categorising.

This discussion is particularly policy-relevant at present time because of the ongoing amendment processes relating to both the Return Directive and the Common European Asylum System.


Publisert 23. jan. 2019 10:36 - Sist endret 28. feb. 2019 11:22