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The European Union Returns Directive and its Compatibility with International Human Rights Law

Analysis of Return Decision, Entry Ban, Detention, and Removal


Izabella Majcher

The book undertakes a throughout human rights assessment of the EU Returns Directive. The overarching human rights framework which circumscribes states’ prerogatives in the context of expulsion builds upon obligations derived from the principle of non-refoulement; the right to life, respect for family and private life, effective remedy, basic social rights; the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment; and protection against arbitrary detention and collective expulsion. Based on the assessment of the Directive against this human rights framework, Izabella Majcher discusses several protection gaps in the Directive’s provisions which may result in violations of migrants’ rights and highlights how the Directive’s rules should be implemented to comply with member states’ human rights obligations. Informed by this assessment, the book discusses draft amendments to the Directive, proposed by the European Commission in September 2018.

“By examining the European Union (EU) Returns Directive in the light of international and European human rights law, Izabella Majcher thoroughly explores and analyses the requirements the EU member states’ authorities must guarantee migrants in an irregular situation when they adopt and implement return decisions, entry bans, pre-removal detention, and removal.” Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche, Professor of public international law, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France

Majid Daneshgar

This essay will explore how the intellects of both scholars and their audiences are censored. In addition to various Western thinkers, particular attention will be paid to Ali Shari'ati, one of the most influential thinkers of modern Iran, and how he represented an important Islamic tradition. Not only did his ideas inspire revolutionary acts by generations of Iranians, but Turkish, Arab, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian philosophers, sociologists, theologians, and politicians have all employed his definitions of concepts such as justice, injustice, revolution, corruption, and bliss. This article sheds light both on how intellectuals influence their audience, and their long-term impact on broader communities. In order to do so, it will analyze the material and political conditions that censor both what scholars are able to say, and what their audiences are allowed to hear.

Reem Doukmak

Reem Doukmak was born in Syria and studied English literature at al-Baath University. In 2007 she completed her Master’s degree at the University of Warwick. With the help of cara she continued her studies at Warwick where she is now starting her academic career. Her work investigates how the right pedagogic interventions can help children in refugee camps. The use of drama plays a key role in her research and feeds into broader questions surrounding self-representation and agency. These are among the vital issues The Journal of Interrupted Studies has also sought to explore. We were lucky to engage Reem on her research and its implications for addressing the problematic discourses that surround refugees and yet neglect to include their voice.

Nasser Karami

Due to its widespread political and social consequences, the relationship between drought and climate change in the Middle East has been widely reported on by the media. Climate change is mainly understood within the paradigm: “prolonged drought is created and intensified by global warming.” The purpose of the study is to review this paradigm and examine aspects of it. Thus, climate trends in the Middle East are studied across three periods: 1900–1970, 1970–2000, and 2000–2017. Due to the importance of studying sequences of drought occurrence based on timescales of climatic patterns, the climatic trends of the Khuzestan Plain, were examined too. The results show that to have a clear understanding of both the modality of climate change in the Middle East and the current dominant paradigm, predominant assumptions of the paradigm should be reconsidered. For example, prolonged droughts are part of the natural pattern of climate in the Middle East, although the current drought has not been recorded for at least 100 years. This claim is based on the fact that prolonged droughts in this region can have natural causes, which can be studied as long-term climate trends, although the impact of global warming on the escalation of the Middle Eastern drought is undeniable. However, the exacerbating effect of non-anthropogenic factors on the impact of drought in the region should be studied, too. Additionally, as an epistemological assumption, the term “drying up” (as a new normal and permanent climatic pattern) should be used instead of “drought” (as a normal and reversible pattern) to determine the current climate change situation in the Middle East. The author concludes that the findings emphasize the need for further research in order to identify the modality of climate change in the Middle East.

Abdul Awal Khan

It is estimated that between 2008 and 2014, 4.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters in Bangladesh and that by 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. The subject matter of this paper is based on a theoretical analysis of various existing social and legal barriers relating to climate displacement in Bangladesh. This article critically analyses the social and legal barriers to helping Climate Change Displaced People (cdp) by drawing on existing legal literature such as the Bangladeshi constitution and qualitative data from Bangladesh’s experience with cdp. Ultimately, this article corroborates the lack of a coherent human rights framework for cdp in Bangladesh and suggests international cooperation as a first step towards a functioning regime.

Joystu Dutta, Kakoli Banerjee, Sangita Agarwal and Abhijit Mitra

The carbon budget of planet earth is regulated by the soil compartment in all types of ecosystems. We conducted a first order analysis of soc in November 2017 both in the mangrove dominated Indian Sundarbans and the highly urbanized city of Kolkata with the aim of identifying the natural and anthropogenic contributions of organic carbon in soil. We also attempted to analyze the spatial variation of soc between these two significantly different ecosystems. We observed a comparatively higher mean value of soc in Kolkata (2.06%) than in the Sundarbans (1.25%). The significant spatial variation in soc between Kolkata and the Sundarbans (p < 0.05) may be attributed to anthropogenic stress, which is of greater magnitude in the city of Kolkata. The significant spatial variation in soc between north and south Kolkata (p < 0.05) is due to the efficiency of the drainage system in the north and the magnitude of city limit expansion in the south. In the Sundarban deltaic complex, a natural phenomenon like erosion seems to be a determining factor in the domain of soil carbon dynamics. soc analyses of all major metropolises around the world, of which Kolkata is one, are essential to understand the carbon sequestration potential of urban soils.

Cultural Heritage in the European Union

A Critical Inquiry into Law and Policy


Edited by Andrzej Jakubowski, Kristin Hausler and Francesca Fiorentini

Cultural Heritage in the European Union provides a critical analysis of the laws and policies which address cultural heritage throughout Europe, considering them in light of the current challenges faced by the Union. The volume examines the matrix of organisational and regulatory frameworks concerned with cultural heritage both in the Union and its Members States, as well as their interaction, cross-fertilisation, and possible overlaps. It brings together experts in their respective fields, including not only legal, but also cultural economists, heritage professionals, government representatives, and historians. The diverse backgrounds of the authors offer a cross-disciplinary approach and a variety of views which allows an in-depth scrutinisation of the latest developments pertaining to cultural heritage in Europe.


Andrzej Jakubowski


This chapter critically investigates the dialectics between the concept of Europe’s common heritage and the Member States’ national heritages within the EU constitutional legal framework. The analysis is twofold. First, the chapter explores to what extent constitutional regulations of the EU Member States in relation to cultural heritage may be perceived as those truly forming EU constitutional principles, derived from common constitutional traditions of its members. Secondly, it analyses the evolving notion of cultural heritage within the EU primary law, constantly (re)interpreted in the EU policy documents in light of global developments in the field of cultural heritage governance. Accordingly, this chapter attempts to understand whether and to what extent the concept of Europe’s common cultural heritage, under EU law, goes beyond the sum of Member States’ heritages and their internal cultural policies and regulations which those states reciprocally protect and enforce through the EU legal instrumentarium and mechanisms. In other words, it discusses whether the EU constitutes just a platform to enhance, enforce and reconcile individual cultural heritage interests of its members, or perhaps it is already an organisation that has developed its own constitutional cultural heritage principles, common or collective in nature.


Cynthia Scott


This chapter explores invocations of notions of a shared, common or European heritage by the European Community in the 1970s and 1980s, as policy makers attempted to identify and make known a European identity that would support the integration process. While much of the scholarship on the history of European identity-building has focused on the increasing involvement of the EC in the cultural sector despite the lacking explicit competence, the problematic issues of defining a truly shared European identity, or the relative (in)consistency of emphasis over the years on conceptions of European unity, diversity, or unity in diversity, this chapter takes a different tack. By retracing these notions in documents of the European Community it uncovers connections between ideas of heritage, as a source of identity, and the Community’s internal and external mobilisations that began drawing it into the emerging international system of heritage preservation governance. Drawing on new distinctions being made in critical heritage studies around definitions of cultural diplomacy and heritage diplomacy, the chapter argues that more than stealthily gaining competence in the cultural sector alone, the EC began laying the groundwork for a heritage diplomacy both in, and by, the European Union that would take off in 1992.


Evangelia Psychogiopoulou


This chapter explores the place of cultural heritage within the EU, considering the splitting of competences between the Union and the Member States, as well as the variety of EU actions and policies during time. It firstly deals with the way in which cultural heritage is construed at the EU level. Although there is no specific definition of what cultural heritage truly is in the texts of the Treaties, the vagueness of the constitutional texts allows the EU institutions to fill in this notion with rather broad definitions, allowing the EU institutions considerable flexibility when adopting cultural heritage actions and measures. Then, the chapter offers a survey of the EU actions in cultural heritage pre- and after the Treaty of Maastricht, where EU competences in this matter first arose. From this survey, a clear picture of the instrumental uses of cultural heritage by the EU institutions arises: in the period before Maastricht cultural heritage has been exploited with the aim of promoting integration between the Member States. After Maastricht, this instrumental use of culture and cultural heritage has been potentiated and diversified with a view of exploiting the socio-economic benefits of cultural heritage in a large number of policy areas – not confined to culture. Yet, behind this ‘heritagization’ of such an array of EU policies lurks the danger of an ‘instrumental overload’ which could turn out in an incapacity to treat pure cultural heritage matters seriously.