This course is discontinued

Syllabus/achievement requirements

(Responsible teacher; Førsteamanuensis Ole Kristian Fauchald, Specialist teacher; Cecilia Bailliet)


Students are expected to have prior knowledge of international law. Previous study of human rights law, regional law, or the law of international organizations is helpful, however it is not required. Recommended Reading:

Dixon, Martin, Textbook on International Law 4th Edition (Blackstone 2000)


Fleischer, Carl August: Folkerett (Universitetsforlaget 2000).

Morten Ruud/Geir Ulfstein: Innføring i folkerett , 2 ed. (Universitetsforlaget 2002)

The course and examination will be conducted in English only. Enrollment is open to Erasmus students and UiO law students (spesialfag/valgfag). Persons outside of UiO wishing to audit the class are requested to contact the faculty.

In order to meet the requirements of the examination, the following criteria is the level of understanding of the topics addressed within the class:

Students are expected to have mastered a thorough understanding of the following topics:

- The UN criteria for the definition of a refugee and corresponding rights contained in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 and its Protocol.

- The terms of the UN Convention's exclusion and cessation clauses.

- The expanded definitions and rights contained in the OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa, the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, and the Dublin Convention.

- The relevant extracts of the human rights treaties listed below.

- The non-refoulement principle and its standing within international law (both legislation and case law).


Main Literature

Reading of the assigned chapters in both of these texts will provide students with proper understanding of the principles of Refugee law in order to meet the requirements of the examination.

Required Textbooks

Goodwin-Gill, Guy: The Refugee in International Law, 2nd ed. 1996 (Clarendon), p 268-291, 324-352, 358-365, chapters 3 & 9.

This book provides an in-depth analysis of the international framework for refugee and asylum law, the refugee definition, exclusion and cessation clauses, the development of the non-refoulement principle, and the concept of asylum. The Annex contains selections of the relevant refugee, human rights, and humanitarian law.

Vevstad, Vigdis: Refugee Protection: A European Challenge, 1998 (Tano Aschehoug), p 43-85, 109-135, chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7.

This book is a very clear account of the development of the refugee concept and specifically addresses non-refoulement and asylum policy in Europe.

Principal International Instruments

The examination will require the interpretation of the following international instruments:

- Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951.

- Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1967.

- UN Declaration on Territorial Asylum 1967.

- Cartagena Declaration on Refugees 1989.

- OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa 1969.

- Dublin Convention Determining the State Responsible for Examining Applications for Asylum 1990.

- European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights 1950 (Article 3).

- African Charter on Human and People's Rights 1981 (Arts.5, 12 & 23).

- American Convention on Human Rights 1969 (Articles 5 & 22).

- UN Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 (Articles 13 &14).

- UN Convention Against Torture of 1984 (Articles 1, 2 &3).


These cases have been selected in order to allow students to understand the implementation of Refugee Law by courts. Reading of the cases is intended to promote active class discussions. The examination will only require reference to the main principles of the holdings, not memorization of entire cases.

Ahmad et. al v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, Court of Appeal (Civil Division), (1990) IMM AR 61, hearing date 6 October 1989 (England).

Ahmed v. Austria, European Court of Human Rights (71/1995/577/663), Judgment 17 December 1996.

Brijmati Singh v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, No. 96-70930, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 134 F. 3rd 962, January 22, 1998, Filed.

Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals Decision In Re Fauziya Kasinga, June 13, 1996, 35 ILM 1145 (1996) (United States).

Pitcherskaia v. INS, No. 95-70887, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 118 F 3rd. 641, June 24, 1997 Filed.

Tahir Hussain Khan v. Canada, Committee against Torture, Communication No. 15/1994, U.N. Doc. A/50/44 at 46 (1995).

Sale, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, v. Haitian Centers Council, INC, et. al., No. 92-344, decided June 21, 1993. (United States).

The Haitian Centre for Human Rights et. al. v. United States, Case 10.675, Report No. 51/96, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.95 Doc. 7 rev. at 550 (1997).

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex parte Cetin, Court of Appeal (Civil Division), hearing date 17 February 1992. (England).

Anisimova v. Minister of Justice, High Court (Ireland), 1996 No. 104 JR, hearing date 18 February 1997.

In the matter of Yong-Gueico et. al v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Canada), Court File No. IMM-3413-96, Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, Toronto, Ontario, June 26, 1997.

McMullen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, No. 84-7468, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 788 F. 2nd 591, April 25, 1986, Decided.

Thirunavukarasu v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), Court File No. A-81-92, Federal Court of Appeal, 109 D.L.R. 4th 682, November 10 1993.

Thirunavukarasu Kandasamy Diviua Thirunavukarasu v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, IMM-4730-96, Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, Toronto, Ontario, 1997 Fed. Ct. Trial LEXIS 1194, Nov. 5 1997.

Supporting Literature

Recommended Supplementary Texts

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

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, 1991 (Butterworths).

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

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.


Published Oct. 27, 2003 1:10 PM - Last modified Dec. 5, 2003 2:21 PM