A Question of Definition – The Concept of Internal Armed Conflict in the Swedish Aliens Act

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Jennie Magnusson University of Lund, Sweden

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Fleeing the horrors of an internal armed conflict constitutes a ground for subsidiary protection under the Qualification Directive and in the Swedish Aliens Act. However, what is to be defined as such a conflict is disputed. This is obvious within the European context from the inconsistent interpretations of for example the situation in Iraq amongst Member States. In Sweden, the Migration Court of Appeal established the situation in Iraq as severe, but as not amounting to an armed conflict. In France and Great Britain however, Iraq is regarded as such a conflict. The argument of this article is that the concept of internal armed conflict in the Swedish Aliens Law is incoherent and inadequate. This is due to the fact that the Swedish interpretation is based upon international humanitarian law, a law which provides an unclear and anachronistic concept of internal armed conflict.

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