Mar15

Naturalization in Tanzania: Lessons from the Ebb and Flow of the Process

Tanzania, March 15, 2016

The granting of citizenship to Burundian refugees by the Government of Tanzania should be commended as a significant and unprecedented response to a protracted refugee situation. However, the process remains poorly understood, from the factors that resulted in the suspension of the program in 2010 to those that led to its final implementation in 2014.

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Mar1

A Global Solution to a Global Refugee Crisis

March 1, 2016

If implemented as intended, the UN Refugee Convention points the way to a truly global solution to the refugee crisis.

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Feb15

Hotspots and Relocation Schemes: The Right Therapy for the Common European Asylum System?

European Union , February 15, 2016

The Common European Asylum System ("CEAS") and the Schengen travel area are in considerable jeopardy. The spontaneous arrival of approximately one million persons in 2015, 90% from the top refugee-producing countries of the world, has cruelly exposed their paradoxes and set in motion centrifugal forces that appear to threaten their very existence. The remedy proposed by the EU institutions includes as its centrepieces the “hotspot approach” and intra-EU relocation schemes. Great store is being placed in their implementation.

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Oct6

Complicity under Article 1F(a) of the 1951 Convention

October 6, 2015

Given the prevalence of armed conflict and its essentially civilian nature, more and more individuals have the potential of falling within the provisions of Article 1F(a) of the Convention. The focus of this article is on “complicity” and how this is applied and interpreted by some of the leading jurisdictions in international refugee law to exclude individuals from Convention refugee status under Article 1F(a).

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Jul12

How to Sink a Boat: A Legal Analysis of the Right to Seek Asylum

European Union, July 12, 2015

In a surprisingly bold move, the European Union (E.U.) recently asked the United Nations to green light the use of force against boats containing “smuggled” immigrants on the Mediterranean Sea. This disturbing news has been met with a wave of protest from advocates and scholars alike, who deplore the E.U.’s plan because it denies these immigrants their fundamental rights. Many have been left wondering, what is the legal basis for the E.U.’s actions? And could the United Nations conceivably approve such a plan?

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Jun1

Refugee Protection for Homeschoolers? Congressional Efforts to Amend the Refugee Definition and Restrict Protection for Central American Refugees

United States, June 1, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recently passed H.R.1153, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2015 (“the ARBP Act”), a bill that restricts immigration to the United States, except for families fleeing persecution because they homeschool their children. This article discusses the ways in which the proposed Act is in direct contravention with U.S. domestic and international obligations and argues Congress should instead invest in the asylum officer corps and immigration court system to provide adjudicators with the resources and support they need to reach reasoned and fair decisions.

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May12

The Michigan Guidelines on Risk for Reasons of Political Opinion

May 12, 2015

The University of Michigan Program in Refugee and Asylum Law hosts the bi-annual Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, which brings leading academic experts and practitioners from around the world to Ann Arbor to work with students and identify a strategy for confronting a cutting-edge problem in refugee protection. The purpose of the Colloquium is to tackle one difficult issue via preparatory study and a three-day debate and policy formulation meeting, thus producing the Michigan Guidelines on that particular issue. The 2015 Michigan Guidelines take up how best to interpret “political opinion” in a manner that ensures both fidelity to international law and the continuing vitality of the Convention.

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Apr14

Vulnerability, the Right to Asylum and the Dublin System

European Union, April 14, 2015

Recent jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights has called into question the compatibility of the Dublin system with the rights of inherently vulnerable individuals, in particular children seeking asylum.

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Mar9

Of Shepherds and Sheepdogs – Andre Lawrence Shepherd v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland before the Court of Justice of the European Union

Germany, March 9, 2015

An American citizen applied for asylum in Germany on the basis of Article 9(2)(e) of the Qualification Directive (QD). He refused to continue working in the US armed forces serving in Iraq, claiming his continued participation would lead to the commission of war crimes. The referring court stayed proceedings and asked the CJEU to help interpret the act of persecution contained in Article 9(2)(e). In this article, Julian Lehmann dissects the CJEU's opinion and predicts the outcome in Mr. Shepherd's case.

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Mar2

“The Benefit of the Doubt” in Asylum Law

United Kingdom , March 2, 2015

"The benefit of the doubt" is best understood, not as an independent principle to be ranked alongside the lower standard of proof, but rather as an integral part of such a standard.

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