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Preview: International Journal of Refugee Law - current issue

International Journal of Refugee Law Current Issue

Published: Tue, 30 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 30 May 2017 14:44:49 GMT


The Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in European Law


CostelloCathryn, The Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in European Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, xli + 356 pp, ISBN 978-0-19-964474-2 (hbk)

United States Migrant Interdiction and the Detention of Refugees in Guantánamo Bay


DastyariAzadeh, United States Migrant Interdiction and the Detention of Refugees in Guantánamo Bay, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2015, xvi + 270 pp, ISBN 978-1-107-10100-5 (hbk)

Exclusion Clauses of the Refugee Convention in Relation to National Immigration Legislations, European Policy and Human Rights Instruments: Article 1F versus the Non-Refoulement Principle


Yakut-BahtiyarZarif, Exclusion Clauses of the Refugee Convention in Relation to National Immigration Legislations, European Policy and Human Rights Instruments: Article 1F versus the Non-Refoulement Principle, WolfLegal Publishers, Oisterwijk, 2015, x + 378 pp, ISBN 978-9462-40285-0 (pbk)

Case Law Summaries


Conclusion No 113 (LXVII) 2016 on Youth


6 October 2016

A Comparative Analysis of Statelessness Determination Procedures in 10 EU States


The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons defines a stateless person as ‘a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law’. Although meeting this definition is key to accessing the rights and freedoms of the 1954 Convention, there is no international binding guidance on how to identify and recognize its beneficiaries. There is also considerable uncertainty regarding several aspects of the identification of statelessness, such as whether specific status determination procedures are necessary and what their constituent elements should be, and little is known about the national systems that are in place in this regard.This article analyses the legislation, case law, and practices concerning the identification and recognition of statelessness in 10 European Union States. The article analyses States that have adopted specific statelessness determination procedures, those that have implemented few provisions to identify statelessness, and those that have no such provisions. The data that has been collected shows wide variation with regard to the identification of statelessness. It also demonstrates that the guarantee of essential procedural elements in the context of claims for protection based on statelessness depends on specific mechanisms to identify them. Therefore, the article argues that the adoption of statelessness determination procedures is crucial. The article also reviews various approaches to the recognition of statelessness status and argues that only the possibility of acquiring residence rights on the grounds of statelessness permits access to all the rights and benefits of the 1954 Convention. It concludes that specific legislation is required to effectively implement the international obligations of the 1954 Convention in good faith and it provides a number of recommendations to this end.

The Tale of Two Men: Testimonial Styles in the Presentation of Asylum Claims


In determining refugee status, the credibility of an asylum seeker is significantly influenced by the way he or she presents the claim. In the United Kingdom, as elsewhere, the initial decision makers place great emphasis on a detailed, consistent, and plausible account as an indicator of credibility. There is evidence that socio-economic background and education may affect witnesses’ testimonial styles. However, in the context of asylum, most research has shied away from investigating other factors that influence testimonial styles and how claims are presented. In addition, there has never been a comparison of the presentational skills of two asylum seekers, with similar backgrounds, personal characteristics, and claims, in order to explore how these skills impact on the success of their claims. Drawing on a range of disciplines and empirical data from selected Free Association Narrative Interviews, this article compares two asylum seekers with similar attributes and similar asylum grounds, whose presentational skills were found to be significantly dissimilar. The findings are based on analysis of their interview data, which provided insights into how their asylum testimonies may have been presented. The UNHCR Handbook, which sets out guidelines for determining refugee status, highlights that it is not the duty of an asylum seeker to analyse his or her case to such an extent as to identify the reasons for persecution in detail. In light of this, the article challenges the assumption and expectation that asylum seekers can be left to their own devices to present a detailed and consistent claim. It concludes that, if individuals possess different presentational skills that may affect the outcome of their claims, then asylum seekers deficient in such skills should be supported by prior familiarization with the asylum process.

Hearing Differently: Knowledge-Based Approaches to Assessment of Refugee Narrative


This article suggests ways of improving the interaction between asylum seekers and host States within the confines of the refugee status determination process. It advocates for a high-knowledge decision maker profile and explores new approaches to fact finding and credibility assessment centred on the notions that truth in the asylum context is relative, not fixed, and that dialogue and unfettered refugee speech should be privileged as much as possible in the hearing room. The proposals find their inspiration in empirical data and interdisciplinary academic thought, and are designed to conform to the legal, cultural, psychological, and discursive challenges inherent in the assessment of refugee narrative.

Chinese Pressure to Repatriate Asylum Seekers: An International Law Analysis


In recent years, China has repeatedly pressured its neighbours to return Chinese asylum seekers, even when those individuals merit protection under the Refugee Convention. The implications of such pressure are serious, both for the individuals involved, who have in many cases been imprisoned or executed upon repatriation, and for the refugee systems of China’s neighbours, which struggle to follow the rule of law in the face of political influence. While this Chinese pressure has often been condemned by human rights groups, there has so far been little attention given to the permissibility of such pressure under international law. This article addresses this question by analysing five possible legal theories for the illegality of Chinese pressure: namely that it violates the specific prohibition on treating a grant of asylum as an unfriendly act; that it violates the general principle of non-intervention in another State’s domestic affairs; that it violates the principle of good faith fulfilment of treaty obligations; that it invokes indirect responsibility for violation of refugee law norms; and that it violates international human rights law, specifically the right to leave any country and the right to seek asylum. The article finds that there is a strong argument that Chinese pressure violates the principle of good faith fulfilment of treaty obligations, but that it is difficult to convincingly argue the illegality of Chinese pressure under the other four legal theories – although they may provide ammunition for activists to condemn the political hypocrisy of China’s actions.

EU Immigration and Asylum Law: A Commentary (2nd edn)


HailbronnerKay and ThymDaniel (eds), EU Immigration and Asylum Law: A Commentary (2nd edn), CH Beck/Hart/Nomos, München/Oxford/Baden Baden, 2016, xxi + 1638 pp, ISBN 978-3-406-66653-7 (CH Beck), ISBN 978-1-84946-861-9 (Hart Publishing), ISBN 978-3-8487-1285-4 (Nomos) (hbk)