International Cooperation on Migration Control: Towards a Research Agenda for Refugee Law

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
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  • 1 Professor in legal science with special responsibilities in regard to migration and refugee law, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Abstract

This article sets out by reviewing the interplay between policy and law when it comes to measures aimed at deterring migrants and refugees. The current trend towards international cooperation represents a significant turning point, it is argued, creating important challenges for existing strategies of refugee and human rights lawyers. On this basis, and with a view to recent scholarship, the article explores three different avenues to address the current generation of deterrence. The first involves a step back to re-examine other bases for establishing extraterritorial human rights jurisdiction. Secondly, it is argued that existing efforts to establish state responsibility in the context of deterrence suffer from a Global North bias, and that more attention should be paid to the concurrent responsibility of partner states in regions of transit and origin, as well as the legal structures and litigation possibilities in these jurisdictions. Third and finally, the article makes a plea to move beyond narrow legal analysis in favor of more inter-disciplinary approaches highlighting the wider political and sociological dynamics pertaining to this area.