The End of Refugee Law?

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Graduate Program on Human Security (HSP) at the University of Tokyo hosted a seminar entitled ‘the End of Refugee Law’, with guest lecturer Prof. David Cantor of University of London. He discussed the refugee law and world refugee regime facing difficulties but reviewing Refugee Law does provide direction as to refugee protection. He emphasized that recent moves on international cooperation, including the Global Compact and Global Refugee Forum, are positive in that fairness in refugee protection regime is put in the forefront.

Myself as a commentator presented on three thoughts. One is that International Refugee Law (IRL) in a narrow sense centered around Refugee Convention can be and sometimes is used as a limit to human rights, and human rights law can be and sometimes used as a limit to rights of refugees. Second is the concept of rule of law can strengthen refugee protection but can also limit refugee protection. Third is States’ resort to humanitarian status in lieu of refugee status can be understood either as their firm belief in IRL or outdated nature of IRL. All in all, IRL seems to be very relevant to States.

Detailed report of the seminar by Amishi Agrawal is out on our International Law Training and Research Hub.