Refugee and Asylum Law – 6921
This course will introduce and explore the main concepts, laws, institutions and policies that form the international regime for the protection of refugees. In 2014 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were 51.2 million forcibly displaced persons, including 16.7 million refugees and 33.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), a significant increase from 2013. The refugee crisis in Europe, which began in mid-2015 and continues unabated in 2016, has only increased those numbers. Human displacement continues to be one of the most important and intractable human rights issues facing the international community.
The course objectives are to: -examine the assumptions, origins and evolution of refugee law and the refugee regime; -understand who is protected from serious harm by international, regional and domestic law; -explore the rights afforded refugees and other categories of forced migrants; -investigate various legal and policy impediments to asylum-seeking; -assess the scope, limits and potential of international co-operation regarding refugees.
Overall, the course will examine the relationship between refugee law, international human rights law and domestic law, and will provide students with an understanding of how this relationship affects state obligations toward refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons.