This course is discontinued

Syllabus/achievement requirements

The following reading list is common for the courses taught at bachelor’s and master’s level. Note that there are different achievement requirements:

  • Master’s level (15 credits): A good understanding is required
  • Bachelor’s level (10 credits): A general understanding is required

Course content

This course seeks to present the international legal framework for refugee and asylum issues and assess its evolution. The course will not concentrate on the asylum laws of one country in particular, rather the approach is multinational in order to provide an overview of the commonalities and conflicts within the world system. Students will attain a thorough knowledge of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951), as well as the principal regional conventions.

Main areas of discussion include the basic U.N. criteria for the attainment, denial, and withdrawal of refugee status, the development of the non-refoulement principle, and the standard of treatment of refugees. The political, social, and economic context of prevention, protection, and solution strategies will be explored. Close study of jurisprudence within international, regional, and national courts and UNHCR actions will provide an understanding of how refugee and asylum law is interpreted and implemented. In addition, the course will analyse the drawbacks and benefits of alternative forms of protection, e.g. temporary protection and safe haven.

Progressive issues such as internally displaced persons and "development/environmental" refugees will also be presented. Trends towards expansion of the refugee definition will be assessed by studying regional approaches within Africa, Latin America, and Europe.

Requirements

Achievement requirements for master’s level (15 credits):

Students are expected to achieve good understanding of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. Specifically, good understanding of the following articles is required:

Article 1 (definition of a refugee, inclusion, exclusion and cessation clauses) Article 33 (non-refoulement)

Knowledge of the expanded definitions of refugee and conditions for return contained in the following regional instruments is also required:

The Cartagena Declaration on Refugees 1989.

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa 1969.

European Council Directive on Minimum Standards for Qualification and Status of Third Country Nationals as Refugees 2004.

Knowledge of the following applicable guarantees within human rights instruments for defining persecution, assessing the state of origin's ability and will to protect the applicant, and restricting return of asylum seekers is also required:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Arts. 13 & 14)
  • Convention Against Torture (Arts. 1, 2 & 3)
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (Article 3)
  • African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights 1981 (Arts. 5, 12 & 23)
  • American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (Art. 27)-American Convention of Human Rights 1981 (Art.5 & 22)

Students will be expected to analyze comparative cases from national tribunals and international human rights monitors. They will be required to demonstrate good understanding of protection theory developed in the litterature.

Achievement requirements for bachelor's level (10 credits):

Students are expected to achieve knowledge of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. Specifically, good understanding of the following articles is required:

Article 1 (definition of a refugee, inclusion, exlusion and cessation clauses) Article 33 (non-refoulement)

Knowledge of the expanded definitions of refugee and conditions for return contained in the following regional instruments is also required:

The Cartagena Declaration on Refugees 1989.

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa 1969.

European Council Directive on Minimum Standards for Qualification and Status of Third Country Nationals as Refugees 2004.

Knowledge of the following applicable guarantees within human rights instruments for defining persecution, assessing the state of origin's ability and will to protect the applicant, and restricting return of asylum seekers is also required:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Arts. 13 & 14)
  • Convention Against Torture (Arts. 1, 2 & 3)
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (Article 3)
  • African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights 1981 (Arts. 5, 12 & 23)
  • American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (Art. 27)-American Convention of Human Rights 1981 (Art.5 & 22)

Students will be expected to analyze comparative cases from national tribunals and international human rights monitors. They will be required to demonstrate good understanding of protection theory developed in the litterature.

Cases and reading

Students are expected to achieve good understanding of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. Specifically, good understanding of the following articles is required: Article 1 (definition of a refugee, inclusion, exlusion and cessation clauses) Article 33 (non-refoulement)

Knowledge of the expanded definitions of refugee and conditions for return contained in the following regional instruments is also required:

The Cartagena Declaration on Refugees 1989.

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa 1969.

European Council Directive on Minimum Standards for Qualification and Status of Third Country Nationals as Refugees 2004.

Knowledge of the following applicable guarantees within human rights instruments for defining persecution, assessing the state of origin's ability and will to protect the applicant, and restricting return of asylum seekers is also required:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Arts. 13 & 14) Convention Against Torture (Arts. 1, 2 & 3) European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (Article 3) African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights 1981 (Arts. 5, 12 & 23) American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (Art. 27) American Convention of Human Rights 1981 (Art.5 & 22)

Students will be expected to analyze comparative cases from national tribunals and international human rights monitors. They will be required to demonstrate good understanding of protection theory developed in the litterature.

Reading list

Goodwin-Gill, Guy & McAdam, Jane, The Refugee in International Law 3rd Ed., (Oxford 2007)

( Guy Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law, 2ndEdition, Oxford.) In addition, the students have to study asylum cases from Canada, USA, ECHR, IACHR, CAT, HRC, etc. and some articles that will be chosen from journals.

Supplementary literature

Musalo, Moore & Boswell, Refugee Law and Policy, (Carolina Academic Press 1997)

This is an American casebook which is highly recommended as it provides a clear, in-depth analysis of refugee law jurisprudence, legislation, and theory.

Hathaway, James, The Law of Refugee Status (Butterworths 1991)

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the refugee definition, the concept of persecution, and cessation and exclusion clauses.

Hathaway, James, The Rights of Refugees Under International Law (Cambridge 2005)

This book discusses the rights of refugees to enter and remain in states, freedom from arbitrary detention, expulsion, right to security, food, shelter, healthcare, property, religion, education, documentation, work, social security, etc.

Grahl-Madsen, Atle, The Status of Refugees in International Law, vols. 1 and 2, (Sijthoff, Leyden 1972)

This is the classic treatise of Refugee Law. It offers a profound discussion of the historical evolution of refugee law.

Erika Feller, Volker Turk & Francis Nicholsen (Eds.), Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection (2003)

This is a collection of UNHCR commissioned papers on the key challenges to the 1951 Convention. It explains current thinking regarding interpretation of the refugee definition, non-refoulement, exclusion & cessation, internal flight alternative, and gender persecution.

 

Published Oct. 23, 2008 2:50 PM - Last modified Nov. 21, 2008 10:57 AM