Introduction to International Refugee Law
This course focuses on the international legal regime for the protection of refugees. The structure and contents of the regime are viewed from both a substantive and institutional perspective. As to the former: how does the 1951 Convention - and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees - ensure the protection of refugees? And how does UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) provide international protection? As to the institutional perspective: the drafters envisaged a particular division of tasks and responsibilities between states parties to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees on the one hand, and UNHCR on the other. Owing to the evolution of UNHCR into a highly operational agency, this division has changed over the years, a change that has repercussions for the (few) checks and balances in the regime particularly UNHCR's supervisory role. Both perspectives come together when UNHCR's task to pursue so-called durable solutions to what is invariably referred to as 'the problem of refugees' is considered, respectively voluntary repatriation to the country of origin, and resettlement in third states.
Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade only. Take-home essay exam.