Courses / Modules / LAWS6196 Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law

Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
Ainhoa Campas Velasco
Academic year

Module overview

This course will provide students with an understanding of the international, regional and domestic law relating to refugees and migrants and the challenges and policy considerations in its implementation. The course will cover the sources and legal framework of refugee law, in particular the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention) and the 1967 Protocol, with an emphasis on specific aspects, for example the historical context, the definition of a refugee and status determination; the protection regime under refugee law; the non-penalisation on account of illegal entry or presence in accordance with Article 31(1) of the Refugee Convention; the principle of non-refoulement in refugee law and its complementary considerations in international human rights law. After establishing the legal framework, the main focus of the course will be on present domestic and global challenges, which may include for example: offshore processing centres and the examples of Australia and recently the UK with its agreement with Rwanda; the interaction of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the Refugee Convention in the UK asylum system; discriminatory immigration practices such as the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy under the U.S. Trump administration; exploitation of migrants and the link to human trafficking and modern slavery; specific issues relating to maritime migration, including maritime securitisation for border surveillance and search and rescue of migrants at sea; and the problem of climate displacement.