This course will introduce and explore the main concepts, laws, institutions and policies that form the international regime for the protection of refugees. As of June 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were over 100 million forcibly displaced persons throughout the world (the highest number in history), including 27.1 million refugees and 4.6 million asylum-seekers. Human displacement continues to be one of the most important and intractable human rights issues facing the international community.
The main course objectives are to:
* examine the assumptions, origins and evolution of refugee law and the international refugee regime;
* understand who is protected from serious harm by international, regional and domestic law;
* explore the rights afforded refugees and other categories of forced migrants;
* investigate various legal and policy impediments to the right to seek asylum;
* assess the scope, limits and potential of international cooperation regarding refugees.
Overall, the course will examine the relationship between refugee law, international human rights law and domestic law, and will provide students with an understanding of how this relationship affects state obligations toward refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons.