IG in Manchester (2018)



ESIL 14th Annual Conference on ‘International Law and Universality’

Manchester 2018

ESIL Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law Pre-Conference Workshop

Thursday, 13 September 2018 



Call for Papers:

The Shaping Up of the UN Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees

 Progression towards or Retreat from a Universal Agenda?


On the occasion of the 14th ESIL Annual Conference on International Law and Universality, the Interest Group (IG) on Migration and Refugee Law (MigRef Law) invites submissions from all IG members for a Pre-Conference Workshop on ‘The Shaping Up of the UN Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees: Progression towards or Retreat from a Universal Agenda?

The topic

After the publication of the first drafts of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees earlier this year, negotiations are now ongoing on the two key instruments of future universal migration and asylum governance. The latest round of negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration took place between 14 and 18 May in the UN Headquarters in New York. After subsequent rounds of talks, the final draft will be submitted for adoption to the Intergovernmental Conference that will be held in Morocco in December 2018. Following consultations, the Global Compact on Refugees will be presented in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ 2018 Annual Report to the General Assembly.

In line with the theme of the 14th ESIL Annual Conference, this Workshop intends to contribute to the academic debate on the universal and regional impact of the New York Declaration and the Global Compacts, including its legal transformative power. It welcomes papers exploring whether and how the progression towards a new era of global governance of mass migration and refugee flows is capable of enhancing the universality of the fundamental rights agenda or diluting consolidated principles and rules of migration and refugee law, alongside with questions on international responsibility of various actors involved in dealings with migrants and refugees. The Workshop will host two thematic panels: one on migration-related matters, the other one on refugee and asylum matters.

Panel 1: The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – legal implications for universal principles

This panel will focus on new cooperative strategies and techniques in the field of migration management, with a view to assess the potential for change of the call for a safe, orderly and regular migration. The identification of advantages and pitfalls of the new course, and its capacity to strike a better balance between aliens’ rights and states’ sovereign prerogatives, paired with issues of international responsibility for breaches of law, will be key to this discussion.

Panel 2: The Global Compact on Refugees: the new backbone of international refugee law?

This panel will focus on the international legal backbone on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, discussing whether the renewed narrative is leading to an evolution or revolution in the global and/or regional understanding of basic legal concepts and principles of refugee law, such as: surrogate protection, non-refoulement, non-penalisation for irregular entry, burden-sharing and solidarity. The identification of evolutive trends in international case-law will be key to this discussion.

The application process

Submissions should consist of: (1) an abstract of no longer than 500 words and (2) a short biography of no longer than 500 words, containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, key relevant publications, contact information and e-mail address. Please provide both in the same document in pdf format.

Submissions should be made to  kristof.gombeer@vub.be by 30 June 2018.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Interest Group’s co-conveners. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 20 July 2018. Detailed abstracts of successful papers (4000 words) are due by 20 August 2018.

Other practicalities

The IG Pre-Conference Workshop will be held on Thursday 13 September 2018 in Manchester from 9:00 until 12:30 at Renold Building. The working language is English.

After the conference, the ESIL SSRN Editorial Board welcomes papers presented during IG events for inclusion in the ESIL SSRN Conference Paper Series. Details of how to submit full papers will be provided during the conference.

The Interest Group is unfortunately unable to provide funds to cover the conference registration fee or related transport and accommodation costs.

The Coordinating Committee looks forward to receiving your abstracts and is available for any questions and suggestions.

For an impression of our IG pre-conference event last year in Naples, click here.



Kristof Gombeer kristof.gombeer@vub.be

Tom Syring tomsyring@gmail.com

Tamas Molnar tamas.molnar@uni-corvinus.hu

Daniela Vitiello daniela.vitiello@unifi.it