“They Pretend Not to Hear”: Unpacking the European Union’s Use of Libya as a Transit Country for Refugees

April 12, 2021

Dissecting the migratory practices of the EU reveals how the Global North has implemented a pernicious method of managing refugee migration amidst the chaos of the complex situation in Libya. By engaging hyper-territorial practices, the EU has restrained migrants’ access to their territorial human and civil rights.

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RefLaw Primer: Alienage

March 18, 2021

This post explores and defines the alienage requirement of the Refugee Convention's definition of "refugee". What is the element of "alienage"? Where in the Convention is it found? What are the legal and policy rationales behind it?

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Introducing the RefLaw Primer Series

March 18, 2021

Over the next few months, RefLaw will be spotlighting a new blog series designed to introduce refugee law to a lay-audience and make this complicated, fascinating area of international law accessible to non-lawyers. These Refugee Law Primers will walk our readers through each element of the definition of “refugee,” as well as common questions and themes in international refugee law and scholarship.

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Toward Principles for Refugee Claims Based on Unenforced Persecutory Laws

November 10, 2020

If it is true that “queer cases make bad law,” then in cases like these, which raise difficult questions relevant to the LGBT community, courts should be especially diligent in showing each step of the analysis, and not blind themselves to the social realities the applicant in front of them faces.

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The Free Movement of Persons within the African Union and Refugee Protection

May 25, 2020

On January 29, 2018, the African Union’s (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment (the Protocol). It aims, among other things, to create a single African market for people, goods, services and capital, much like that in the European Union (EU). While cognizant of the opportunities presented by the Protocol, this article focuses on its risks to refugee protection, with a view to stimulating discussion in this regard prior to entry into force.

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No Fame Required: Where Matter of L-E-A- Went Wrong

January 29, 2020

In Matter of L-E-A-, the Attorney General abandoned the United States’ long-standing acceptance of family as a particular social group and held instead that nuclear family will no longer necessarily qualify as a particular social group. This decision is incorrect and departs not only from the U.S.’s own jurisprudence, but also from other jurisdictions’ acceptance of family-based particular social groups.

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Tacit Complicity of Non-Protection in the Maghreb: “As long as my neighbor does not protect refugees, I’ll do the same”

January 6, 2020

This Article discusses the tragedy that refugees in the Maghreb region face because the Maghreb states have chosen to hide behind security concerns instead of addressing their plight. The lack of national systems of asylum combined with the regional political instability and the absence of a regional model that can be transposed onto the individual countries aggravates the situation of refugees. As long as the Maghreb states continue to act (or rather, fail to act) on the logic that “as long as my neighbor does not protect them, I'll do the same thing,” refugees will continue to suffer in these host countries.

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Clumsy Precedents and Arbitrary Discretion: Britain’s Country Guidance System and The Obligation of Non-Refoulment

December 8, 2019

The way in which British immigration courts issue country guidance cases and use them during the well-founded fear inquiry fails to ensure that asylum applicants receive the individualized assessment that is needed to avoid returning them to countries where they risk persecution on a protected ground. Country guidance should not serve as an obstacle to claiming asylum, but rather as a way for similarly situated refugees to efficiently demonstrate prima facia cases for protection.

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A Promise as a Right

November 5, 2019

Is a refugee entitled to the same disability benefits generally as Korean nationals based on the Refugee Convention Article 24 and the Refugee Act of Korea Articles 30 and 31, without requiring further individual legislation? This was the question the Busan District and High Courts of South Korea faced in Baloch Meer Balach Muhammad Zai v. Busan-Gwangyeogsi Sasang-gucheongjang (“Meer”). In this case, the courts grappled with whether refugees were entitled to disability benefits and how to define that right, making the first major decision on refugee rights in Korea.

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Acquiescing in Refoulement: This week’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision

September 13, 2019

Professor James C. Hathaway addresses the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Attorney General v. East Bay Sanctuary, the case pertaining to the Trump Administration's attempt to unilaterally issue a "safe third country" rule for asylum seekers.

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