A Temporary Protection Regime in Line with International Law: Utopia or Real Possibility?

In: International Community Law Review
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  • 1 University of Bristol

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Temporary protection has long been a state response to mass influx situations offering persons seeking refuge immediate protection from refoulement and basic minimum treatment. Today, temporary protection is still relevant: Since 2011, Syrians in Turkey have been protected under a temporary protection regime. Despite this relevance, there is no structured legal framework regulating temporary protection at an international level. Furthermore, conformity of temporary protection regimes with the Refugee Convention, international law and human rights is largely undefined and unsettled. This article takes a step towards clarifying the relationship between temporary protection and international law by discussing whether states can implement a temporary protection regime which does not undermine the Refugee Convention, deprive temporarily protected persons of their basic human rights and lead to premature forced return of the protected persons. Building on the premise that such a temporary protection regime would be in line with international law, this article provides guidance to states on how they should regulate rights and entitlements of the temporarily protected persons, maximum time limit of protection and withdrawal of temporary protection.

  • 2

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 282; Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (3rd ed., 2007) p. 340; Alice Edwards, “Temporary Protection, Derogation and the 1951 Refugee Convention” 13 Melbourne Journal of International Law (2012) p. 600.

  • 5

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 292; ila, ‘Report of the Committee on Refugee Procedures of the ila (Delhi Conference, 2002). Final Report and Draft Guidelines on Temporary Protection’ (2002) p. 2; James C. Hathaway, “Leveraging Asylum”, 45 Texas International Law Journal (2009) pp. 504, 505.

  • 7

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 280; Valeska Onken, “The Social Implications of Temporary Protection in Light of the Imperative of Return: A Study of European Policies”, in A. Botesta (ed.), Refugee Crises and International Response: Towards Permanent Solutions? (2005) p. 183.

  • 12

    For a similar argument see ibid., pp. 203–207.

  • 19

    Ibid., p. 3; Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 461.

  • 21

    Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 465; unhcr Roundtable on Temporary Protection, supra note 10, pp. 1–3.

  • 22

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, pp. 282, 286; Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 467; unhcr, ‘A Comprehensive Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the Former Yugoslavia’ 24 July 1992, hcr/imfy/1992/2.

  • 24

    Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 461; Nadia Yakoob, “Report on the Workshop on Temporary Protection: Comparative Policies and Practices”, 13 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal (1998–1999) pp. 620, 621.

  • 29

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 291.

  • 30

    Ibid., p. 291; ExCoM Conclusion No 22; unhcr Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 13, para 16; Article 13 of the Temporary protection directive.

  • 32

    See Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 287; Onken, supra note 7, p. 185.

  • 34

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, pp. 12, 13; Onken, supra note 7, p. 185.

  • 35

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 12; Onken, supra note 7, p. 185.

  • 37

    Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 623.

  • 38

    Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 623.

  • 39

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 12; Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 299; Khalid Koser, Martha Walsh, Richard Black, “Temporary Protection and Assisted Return of Refugees from the European Union”, 10(3) International Journal of Refugee Law (1998) pp. 445, 455; Onken, supra note 7, p. 182.

  • 40

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 299.

  • 41

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 12; Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 287.

  • 52

    European Commission (2015), Fact Sheet – EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan, Brussels, 15 October 2015, available at <http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-5860_en.htm>.

  • 53

    European Commission (2016), ‘Managing The Refugee Crisis EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan: Implementation Report, available at <http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/docs/managing_the_refugee_crisis_-_eu-turkey_join_action_plan_implementation_report_20160210_en.pdf>.

  • 55

    See Ineli Ciger, supra note 42.

  • 59

    Ineli-Ciger, supra note 42, pp. 32, 33.

  • 66

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 289; Onken, supra note 7, p. 185; Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 14; Katy Long, The Point of No Return: Refugees, Rights, and Repatriation (2013) 116, 117; Commission of the European Communities ‘Proposal for a Council Directive on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof’ Brussels, 24 May 2000, com(2000) 303 final 2000/0127 (cns) para 2.3.

  • 70

    Ibid., p. 783; Edwards, supra note 2, p. 622.

  • 74

    Goodwin-Gill and McAdam, supra note 2, pp. 448–450; Weiss supra note 2, p. 75; Davy supra note 69, p. 792; Jean-François Durieux, “Temporary Protection: Hovering at the Edges of Refugee Law”, 45 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (2014) pp. 247, 248.

  • 76

    Durieux, supra note 74, p. 248.

  • 77

    Durieux and McAdam, supra note 31, pp. 4–14.

  • 79

    Ibid., p. 800.

  • 80

    Edwards, supra note 2, pp. 620–622.

  • 81

    Ibid., p. 622.

  • 82

    Ibid., pp. 623–624.

  • 83

    Ibid., pp. 623–624.

  • 84

    Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 267.

  • 85

    Ibid., p. 270.

  • 87

    Durieux and McAdam, supra note 31, p. 18.

  • 88

    Ibid., pp. 13–15.

  • 91

    Hathaway, supra note 64, p. 278.

  • 93

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 299; Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 172.

  • 94

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 182.

  • 96

    Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 464; Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 172; unhcr, “Ensuring International Protection and Enhancing International Cooperation in Mass Influx Situations: Advance Summary Findings of the Study Commissioned by UNHCR” 24(1) Rhetoric Society Quarterly (2005) p. 120.

  • 97

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 12; Koser et al., supra note 39, p. 455; Onken, supra note 7, p. 182; Durieux, supra note 74, p. 232.

  • 98

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 291; Long, supra note 66, pp. 116, 117; Joan Fitzpatrick and Rafael Bonoan, “Cessation of Refugee Protection” in E. Feller, V. Türk, F. Nicholson (eds.) Refugee Protection in International Law UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection (2003) p. 522; Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 14.

  • 99

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 14.

  • 100

    Fitzpatrick and Bonoan, supra note 98, p. 522.

  • 106

    Fitzpatrick and Bonoan, supra note 98, p. 514.

  • 107

    Ibid., pp. 522, 523; Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 624.

  • 109

    Long, supra note 66, pp. 8, 9.

  • 110

    Ibid., p. 12.

  • 111

    Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 455.

  • 112

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, pp. 280, 281; Koser et al., supra note 39, p. 445; Long, supra note 6639, pp. 115, 116.

  • 113

    Akram and Rempel, supra note 33, p. 14.

  • 114

    Ibid., pp. 10–13; Thorburn, supra note 1, pp. 462, 464.

  • 115

    Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 620.

  • 116

    Ineli-Ciger, supra note 11, pp. 205–207.

  • 117

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 102, pp. 346–347, 363; Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 624.

  • 119

    Sopf, supra note 17, pp. 132, 133; unhcr Roundtable on Temporary Protection, supra note 10; Hathaway ‘Leveraging Asylum’, supra note 5, pp. 504, 505.

  • 122

    Ibid., p. 5.

  • 123

    Ibid., pp. 1–27.

  • 124

    Ibid., p. 4.

  • 126

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, pp. 280, 295.

  • 128

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, pp. 158, 159; ila Final Report and Draft Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 5, p. 11.

  • 132

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 279.

  • 136

    Ibid., 5; Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, pp. 163–165; unhcr Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 13, p. 4.

  • 145

    Vedtsen-Hansen, supra note 143, p. 1172.

  • 146

    Ibid., p. 1176.

  • 147

    Ibid., p. 1171.

  • 149

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 161.

  • 154

    Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 466.

  • 155

    Ibid., p. 951.

  • 164

    Smith, supra note 138, pp. 333–345.

  • 167

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 166; ila Final Report and Draft Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 5, p. 10; unhcr Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 13, p. 4.

  • 168

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 95, p. 304; Walter Kalin, ‘Towards a Concept of Temporary Protection, Annex’ (unpublished study for unhcr, 1996) pp. 19–21, 34–43 cited in Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 299; Onken, supra note 7, p. 206.

  • 171

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, pp. 158, 159.

  • 173

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 299; Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 172.

  • 174

    Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 182.

  • 175

    Ibid., pp. 181, 182.

  • 176

    Ibid., p. 181.

  • 177

    Ibid., pp. 181, 182.

  • 179

    Thorburn, supra note 1, p. 464; Hathaway and Neve, supra note 89, p. 172; unhcr, ‘Ensuring International’, supra note 96, p. 120.

  • 183

    Kneebone and O’Sullivan, supra note 101, pp. 486, 501.

  • 184

    Ibid., pp. 486, 487, 501.

  • 186

    Fitzpatrick and Bonoan, supra note 98, pp. 497–499; Kneebone and O’Sullivan, supra note 94, pp. 524, 525; Hathaway, supra note 71, pp. 200, 203, 922; Article 11(2) of the Council Directive 2011/95/eu of 13 December 2911 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast) oj L 337/9, 20 December 2011 (Recast Qualification directive).

  • 193

    Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 926.

  • 195

    Ibid., paras 10–13; Cwik, supra note 187, p. 724; Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 924.

  • 202

    Ibid., p. 57.

  • 204

    Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 946.

  • 207

    Kälin, supra note 92, p. 231.

  • 208

    Hathaway, supra note 71, p. 948.

  • 209

    Bradley, supra note 201, p. 61.

  • 211

    Ibid., p. 11; ila Final Report and Draft Guidelines on Temporary Protection, supra note 5, p. 12.

  • 212

    Yakoob, supra note 24, p. 624.

  • 213

    Fitzpatrick, supra note 1, p. 305.

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