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Preview: International Journal of Refugee Law - current issue

International Journal of Refugee Law Current Issue





Published: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:44:48 GMT

 



Seeking Asylum in the European Union: Selected Protection Issues Raised by the Second Phase of the Common European Asylum System

2017-11-13

BaulozCéline, Ineli-CigerMeltem, SingerSarah, and StoyanovaVladislava (eds), Seeking Asylum in the European Union: Selected Protection Issues Raised by the Second Phase of the Common European Asylum System, International Refugee Law Series, vol 4 (Brill Nijhoff, Leiden and Boston2015) xiv + 297 pp, ISBN 978-90-04-29015-0 (hbk), ISBN 978-90-29016-7 (e-book)



What Is a Refugee?

2017-11-13

MaleyWilliam, What Is a Refugee? (Scribe Publications, Melbourne2016) xi + 275 pp, ISBN 978-1-9253-2186-9 (pbk); (Hurst & Company, London2016) ISBN 978-1-8490-4679-4



Protection amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps, Columbia Studies in Middle East Politics

2017-11-13

HajjNadya, Protection amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps, Columbia Studies in Middle East Politics (Columbia University Press, New York2016) xviii + 214 pp, ISBN 978-0-23118062-7 (hbk)



Case Law Summaries

2017-11-13













Different in the Same Way? Language, Diversity, and Refugee Credibility

2017-11-01

Abstract
There is a growing awareness of the challenges associated with communicating and decision making in the intercultural setting of refugee status determination processes. However, the way institutions conceptualize diversity has significant implications for how accommodating these processes will actually be of diversity, including in credibility assessments – a key component of many asylum regimes.This article aims to explore how Australian guidance on credibility for refugee review decision makers discursively presents diversity, and the impacts this has on decisions in which asylum seekers’ credibility is a central concern. With reference to institutional guidelines, it identifies how applicants for asylum use the issue of diversity when seeking to overcome credibility issues, and how decision makers respond to this.The article argues that, far from fairly accommodating all the diverse participants who must navigate these procedures, institutional discourse on diversity can create obstacles for applicants when it comes to maintaining or re-establishing their credibility. It finds that this is due to clashes between the way the merits review tribunal understands diversity, and the way it is conceptualized and presented by applicants when explaining their experiences and motivations, and when challenging structural and communicative barriers threatening their credibility. It shows that decision makers and applicants are constructed as different types of people, with the latter assumed to be affected by, and inextricably tied to, their social and cultural difference, while the former are assumed to represent a ‘normal’ or neutral way of being and thinking.



No Country of Asylum: ‘Legitimizing’ Lebanon’s Rejection of the 1951 Refugee Convention

2017-10-05

Abstract
How do States ‘legitimize’ their non-ratification of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees? This article examines the case of Lebanon, a country frequently hailed by the international community for its generosity towards refugees, and currently hosting the highest number of refugees in the world in proportion to its population size. While Lebanon engaged actively in the establishment of the international refugee regime, it has long insisted that it is not a country of asylum and steadfastly rejects ratification of the major refugee law instruments.Based on 10 months of field research, this article makes four arguments as to why Lebanon continues to resist ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its Protocol. First, it argues that there is a widespread and real, or simply politically expedient, uncertainty as to the obligations that come with the Convention. This includes a belief that the Convention requires that Lebanon allow for the permanent settlement of refugees on its territory. Secondly, it argues that the responsibility-shift for refugees to third parties such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees brings about obvious advantages for Lebanon, and has made it less inclined to become a party to the Convention. Thirdly, it argues that the ‘good-neighbourliness’ principle between Arab countries holds that Lebanon should not employ the term ‘refugee’ because doing so would put the State into positions that could violate the good neighbour principle; essentially, ratifying the Convention would entail a duty to recognize certain forced migrants as refugees. Finally, the article argues that many Lebanese government officials and policymakers consider Lebanon’s accession to the Convention redundant for three key reasons. First, Lebanon applies the provisions of the Convention and Protocol on a voluntary basis, so that there is no need for ratification; secondly, Lebanon already has human rights obligations towards refugees on its territory by virtue of its membership of the United Nations and its ratification of a number of core human rights instruments; and, thirdly, due to the ‘crisis’ in international refugee law, in which many States appear to reject the Convention altogether, Lebanese decision makers are now questioning the relevance of these instruments.



Refugees or Border Residents from Myanmar? The Status of Displaced Ethnic Kachins and Kokangs in Yunnan Province, China

2017-09-13

Abstract
Since 2009, more than 100,000 ethnic Kachins and Kokangs have crossed into Yunnan Province, China, to escape armed conflict in Kachin State and Shan State, Myanmar. China insists that they are ‘border residents’, not refugees. This article considers the legal status of these displaced ethnic Kachins and Kokangs in both international law and Chinese law and evaluates China’s treatment of them. It argues that they merit refugee status under the Refugee Convention and Protocol and that many of them also qualify as border residents under the 1997 bilateral border management treaty between China and Myanmar and the 1990 Yunnan provincial rules governing border residents from Myanmar. It suggests that refugee status and border resident status are not mutually exclusive and that those who simultaneously qualify for both should be entitled to the rights attached to each status. Therefore, China’s forced repatriation of displaced Kachins and restrictions on both groups’ freedom of movement in China amount to violation of its obligations under the Refugee Convention and Protocol.



Bringing Rwandan Refugees ‘Home’: The Cessation Clause, Statelessness, and Forced Repatriation

2017-08-01

Abstract
Rwanda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) contend that the genocidal violence and harsh repression that forced thousands of Rwandans to flee their country between 1959 and 1998 have ended, making Rwanda safe for return. The UNHCR-invoked cessation clause came into effect in 2013 as part of renewed attempts to bring refugees ‘home’ from neighbouring countries, despite reports of increasing State-sanctioned persecution in Rwanda and beyond. Although UNHCR has commended the government for its efforts to repatriate Rwandan nationals, critics argue that this process of bringing refugees ‘home’ includes forced repatriation and denationalization. Refugees who do not return to Rwanda risk the consequences of de facto statelessness (the inability to enjoy the benefits associated with legal nationality) outside their country of origin, while political dissidents abroad face de jure statelessness (lack of legal nationality in any country) as punishment for criticizing President Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front ruling political party. This article argues that human rights protection – including protecting the ‘right to a nationality’ and preventing statelessness – must be of central concern. It is imperative that the international community presses for the development of genuine respect for human rights and democracy in Rwanda, and also considers the complexities of refugee repatriation in the context of Rwandan identity- and nation-building.