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Edited by Vera Gowlland-Debbas and Vincent Chetail

The present volume highlights the new challenges of the international protection of refugees fifty years after the adoption of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
Focusing on the problems faced by Switzerland in the field of international protection of refugees as well as on the specificity of its asylum law and practice, this publication addresses the refugee problem from a national, European and international perspective. The Swiss experience serves to illustrate the wider problematic of on the one hand, the tensions between security, political and humanitarian concerns encountered by refugee-receiving states, and on the other, the need to preserve an international refugee protection regime which remains an essential component of international law and relations for so long as political solutions are not brought to the root causes of refugee exodus.
This reflection on the international protection of refugees is organized around four main themes. The first examines Switzerland's response in the past to mass influx, in the light of historical case studies and the evolution of Swiss asylum law and practice. The second focuses on the question of access of refugees to asylum territories and refugee status determination procedures within the framework of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the current Swiss asylum law. The third centres on the wider protection regime currently being forged in Europe to address a broader category of refugees, including solutions for temporary and subsidiary protection. The final theme revolves around return of refugees, including those under the Dayton and recent Kosovo agreements and covers reintegration of returnees, assistance and long-term development.
This work is based on papers presented at a colloquium of the Graduate Institute of the International Studies in Geneva which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a contribution to the 50th anniversaries of the UNHCR and the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

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Hemme Battjes

Community asylum law is becoming ever more essential to asylum law in Europe. But many intricate questions about this new body of law remain to be resolved. Do the Community rules weaken or improve the position of asylum seekers? Would a future Community asylum law have to observe international norms? What role should the Court of Justice play in asylum matters? And does the communautarisation of asylum law affect the possibilities of asylum seekers to approach domestic courts, or the European Court of Human Rights? These and other questions are addressed in this book. It offers, besides an in-depth study of the relation between European and international asylum law, a practical manual for European asylum law. It discusses the content and meaning of all Community regulations and directives on asylum, as well as their possible use (and reliability) in domestic proceedings.

Negotiating Asylum

The EU Acquis, Extraterritorial Protection and the Common Market of Deflection

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Edited by Gregor Noll

How is access to asylum and other forms of extraterritorial protection regulated in the European Union? Is the EU acquis in these areas in conformity with international law? Which tools does international law offer to solve collisions between both? And, finally, is law capable of bridging the foundational oppositions embedded in migration and asylum issues? This work combines the potential of legal formalism with an analytical framework drawing on political theory. It analyses the argumentative strategies used by international lawyers, and developed them further, exploiting the interpretative methodology of international law as well as elaborate discrimination arguments. The author concludes that deflecting protection seekers by means of visa requirements may constitute a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, and that the prescriptions of international law oblige Member States to apply the Dublin Convention and the Spanish Protocol in a manner emptying it of its main control functions. The author also shows that burden-sharing remains the pivotal element in the normative dynamics behind the EU acquis, and explains why the European Court of Human Rights must be regarded as the only transnational forum for the legitimate negotiation of asylum in Europe.

Vertical Judicial Dialogues in Asylum Cases

Standards on Judicial Scrutiny and Evidence in International and European Asylum Law

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Dana Baldinger

What do international and EU law require from the national asylum judge with regard to the intensity of judicial scrutiny to be applied and evidentiary issues? To answer that question, an analysis is made of the provisions on national judicial proceedings contained in the Refugee Convention (RC), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In addition, the assessment as performed by the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee against Torture and the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the expulsion of asylum seekers is analysed.

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Edited by Barbara Bogusz, Ryszard Cholewinski, Adam Cygan and Erika Szyszczak

Desperate and vulnerable people, who take enormous risks to migrate to Europe in rickety boats or concealed in the containers of articulated lorries, are familiar images portrayed in the media of “irregular migrants”. Irregular migration has become a major political concern both at the European level and in the wider international context. In the European Union, politicians have identified irregular migration as a “problem” and have given priority to preventing this phenomenon in the development of the common asylum and immigration policy.
This collection of essays is the outcome of an international conference on Irregular Migration and Human Rights, which gathered together prominent scholars, policy-makers and practitioners working in the migration and human rights field. The objective of the book, in contrast to the prevailing political approach which focuses almost solely on prevention, is to discuss the human rights dimensions of irregular migration from theoretical, European and international perspectives. The book is divided into five substantive parts: the complex question of who is an irregular migrant and the difficulties in assessing the size of irregular movements: official and popular perceptions of irregular migrants, a debate which is frequently considered in terms of security concerns, asylum, and human trafficking and smuggling; the myriad strands of the developing EU law and policy on irregular migration, such as the adoption of readmission agreements, and the relationship of this law and policy to external border controls in the context of EU enlargement and other non-legal means of EU decision-making; the contributions of international and non-governmental actors to charting a rights-based approach to irregular migration; and the problems these vulnerable persons face while resident in host countries, such as discrimination and denial of access to social rights and public services, which is inextricably bound up with their irregular status.

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Edited by Jan Niessen and Isabelle Chopin

Europe has come a long way at least in the institutional response to racism. This book describes the responses of the Council of Europe and the European Union to the worrying trends of racism and xenophobia in the 1990s, and considers the prospects for combating discrimination in Europe using tools that have emerged as a result. Part one looks at the evolution of the Council of Europe apparatus to combat discrimination and the anti-discrimination standards prescribed by its institutions. Part two considers the legislative measures recently adopted by the European Union. The contributions in Part three take a comparative perspective of all measures adopted at European level to combat racial and ethnic discrimination.

Exploring the Boundaries of Refugee Law

Current Protection Challenges

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Edited by Jean-Pierre Gauci, Mariagiulia Giuffré and Evangelia (Lilian) Tsourdi

Protection challenges around the globe require innovative legal, policy and practical responses. Drawing primarily from a new generation of researchers in the field of refugee law, this volume explores the ‘boundaries’ of refugee law. On the one hand, it ascertains the scope of the legal provisions by highlighting new trends in State practice and analysing the jurisprudence of international human rights bodies, as well as national and international Courts. On the other hand, it marks the boundaries of refugee law as ‘legal frontiers’ whilst exploring new approaches and new frameworks that are necessary in order to address the emerging protection challenges.