Publication: latest International Review of the Red Cross on Migration and Displacement

The ICRC’s latest issue of the International review of the Red Cross (No. 904) unpacks and addresses questions related to migration and displacement. All contributions can be freely accessed here.

Table of contents:

Editorial: Migration and displacement: humanity with its back to the wall (Vincent Bernard)
“All I want is to know”: testimonies of the families of missing migrants in Zimbabwe
Interview with Filippo Grandi
Mobilising the movement: Australian Red Cross, migration and the role of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement around humanitarian response (Vicki Mau)
British Red Cross response to young migrants in Calais, France (Debbie Busler Continue reading
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Call for papers: Transformation of Citizenship (Graz, Austria)

Dear IG members,

A conference on citizenship and immigration will be held at the law faculty of the University of Graz (Austria) on 20-21 November 2018, organised inter alia by our IG member Stefan Salomon.

In recent years, we witnessed key transformations of citizenship. Already in the 1990s, some argued that the importance of citizenship as legal status would diminish as the sphere of human rights widens. The compression of space-time renders citizenship increasingly meaningless as a form of identification and boundaries – of states, political communities, and the self – blurred and fluid. With globalization and transnational governance regimes abounding, the increasing enmeshment of citizenship in processes of governance, e.g. to attract high-skilled migrants, suggests that mobility, not belonging, is the key element. As such, citizenship may have lost in significance. Yet, at the same time, we see that citizenship still is the predominant institution that reflects global inequality and in which discourses on otherness unfold. The ‘right’ citizenship still largely defines the opportunities of a person under a domestic and global perspective. One could say that while the boundaries of states dwindle in terms of institutional integration, multidirectional dependence, or technological progress, states increase their boundaries in terms of raising the symbolic value of citizenship. It is this juxtaposition and tension inherent in the concept of citizenship today, which this conference seeks to illuminate, elucidate and review in an effort to understand the processes responsible for the changes.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 1 July 2018. More information can be found here.



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New publication by IG members – “Migration and the Environment: Some Reflections on Current Legal Issues and Possible Ways Forward”

The papers collected in this volume, edited by Giovanni Carlo Bruno, Fulvio Maria Palombino and Valentina Rossi (“Migration
and the Environment: Some Reflections on Current Legal Issues and Possible
Ways Forward“, CNR edizioni, 2017), analyse the links between migration and the environment from different perspectives, tackling significant
international law issues in this field as well as normative gaps and
possible solutions with respect to the effective protection of people whose
movements are induced by environmental factors. The ultimate aim of this
volume is to provide an original contribution to current academic and
policy debates on the matters of international migration caused by
environmental changes. Free access to the book: click  here.

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Upcoming elections for the Coordinating Committee of the IG Migration and Refugee Law


(more info soon …)

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Publication by IG member – EU migration law shaping international migration law in the field of expulsion of aliens: the case of the ILC draft articles

This academic piece by IG member Tamás Molnár appeared in the Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies. Since the Treaty of Maastricht, EU law has become more open to international law and has engaged with it in different forms of interactions. The influence of EU law on universal law-making has found its way through different legal channels and techniques. The article thoroughly scrutinises the impact of EU return acquis on the development of the international law governing the ‘expulsion of aliens’, which can be best analysed through the work of the UN International Law Commission (ILC) on the expulsion of aliens (2004–2014). The ILC’s approach has come a long way from the mere ignorance of EU law and the EU’s submissions by the special rapporteur in the early stages of the codification work until it has gradually taking into account major EU migration law concepts in ILC reports and in the draft articles. The 2014 ILC draft articles on the expulsion of aliens have finally been, in many aspects, inspired and influenced by EU law, especially the Return Directive (2008/115/EC). This short piece meticulously explores the inroads EU return law made in relation to the ILC work on the expulsion of aliens, by identifying and critically evaluating the tangible impact of EU law on the UN codification project.

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New publications


Illegally Staying in the EU – An Analysis of Illegality in EU Migration Law

In this book, Benedita Menezes Queiroz (EUI / Lisbon Centre for Research in Public Law) provides a conceptual analysis of the illegality of a third-country national’s stay by examining the boundaries of the overarching concept of illegality at the EU level. Having found that the holistic conceptualisation of illegality, constructed through a combination of sources (both EU and national law) falls short of adequacy, the book moves on to consider situations that fall outside the traditional binary of legal and illegal under EU law. The cases of unlawfully staying EU citizens and of non-removable illegally staying third-country nationals are examples of groups of migrants who are categorised as atypical. By looking at these two examples the book reveals not only the fragmentation of legal statuses in EU migration law but also the more general ill-fitting and unsatisfactory categorisation of migrants. More info here.

Questioning EU Citizenship – Judges and the Limits of Free Movement and Solidarity in the EU

This edited volume addresses citizenship in EU law. It pays particular attention to the Court of Justice, offering analytical readings of the key cases. The volume also examines those political, social and normative factors which influence the evolution of citizens’ rights. This examination is not only timely but essential given the prominence of citizen rights in recent political debates, including in the Brexit referendum. All of these questions are explored with a special emphasis on the interplay between immigration from third countries and rules on Union citizenship. For more info, check this link.

Unity in Adversity – EU citizenship, Social Justice and the Cautionary Tale of the UK

Charlotte O’Brien (University of York) has published her book Unity in Adversity – EU citizenship, Social Justice and the Cautionary Tale of the UK. In her work, she argues that EU market citizenship is incompatible with a pursuit of social justice, because it contributes to the social exclusion of women and children, promotes a class-based conception of rights, and tolerates in-work poverty. The limitations of EU citizenship are clearest when EU nationals engage with national welfare systems, but this experience has been neglected in EU legal research. The book is the result of working first hand with EU nationals in the UK, providing advice and advocacy, and giving ethnographic insight into the process of navigating EU and UK welfare law. More info can be found here.

*Please note that Interest Group members can acquire these books with a 20% discount.
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Upcoming Interest Group activity, workshop (Naples): The Future of International Migration Law

The 13th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law (Naples, 2017) will explore how international law has responded, or can or should respond, to the fundamental challenge of defining and regulating global public goods, global commons and fundamental values. The pre-conference workshop organised by the ESIL Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law (MigRefLaw) in conjunction with the Leiden based project ‘Interaction between Legal Systems’ will focus on the realisation of the global public good and fundamental value of international protection of forcibly displaced individuals and the benefits of safe, regular and orderly migration to all actors involved.

Within the 250 million international migrants globally, about 65.6 million people are forcibly displaced. The situation in and around the arena of the Mediterranean has been labelled as a “crisis”, an “emergency”. This emergency does not take place in a legal void. To the contrary: the overall picture that emerges is one of multiple levels of governance, actors and legal regimes. Law making and law enforcement as well as humanitarian efforts take place in a global and EU context of treaties and regulations; a framework whose complexity is augmented by a myriad of national immigration and asylum regimes. Under the broad title of ‘the future of international migration law’, i.e. the body of law and the accompanying governance levels and actors sketched above, the IG MigRefLaw workshop investigates how these multiple levels and legal regimes interact, and how this affects the provision of international protection.

Date: Wednesday, 6 September 2017

More info can be found here.

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Publication by IG member: ‘Migrant ill-treatment in Greek Law Enforcement’

Interest Group member Nikolaos Sitaropoulos’ work appeared in the European Journal of Migration and Law (Vol. 19, (2)) titled: “Migrant Ill-Treatment in Greek Law Enforcement – Are the Strasbourg Court Judgments the Tip of the Iceberg?“. Numerous instances of migrant ill-treatment, including torture, in Greek law enforcement have been recorded over a long period of time by international human rights monitoring organisations. The frequent reporting of such incidents though was not accompanied by any major judgments by the Strasbourg Court until Alsayed Allaham and Zontul in 2007 and 2012 respectively. The article provides an analysis of these first major judgments which usefully shed light on the underlying, long-standing systemic failures of the Greek law, as well as of the law enforcement and judicial authorities’ practice. It is argued that the above judgments are in fact only the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading

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Call for papers! Interest Group side-event at the ESIL Conference, Naples (6 September 2017)

The ESIL Interest Group (IG) on Migration and Refugee Law is organizing a pre-conference event on the 6th of September 2017 in Naples (Italy) entitled “The Future of International Migration Law”, in the framework of the 13th ESIL Annual Conference (7-9 September 2017). Our Interest Group will host two panels of speakers: one on the de-fragmentation of EU migration and asylum governance (confirmed speakers in provisional programme), and another panel on (ab)normalities of international migration and refugee law: challenges and innovations. For the latter we are launching a call for papers.

We are not aiming for fully-fledged papers but for contributions of up to 2000 to 2500 words (extended abstracts). The eventual short papers (extended abstracts) should be sent to the IG conveners by 15 August 2017 in order to circulate them amongst the panellists prior to the workshop.

The Interest Group invites submissions of abstracts of no more than 400 words. Applications should be submitted to by 25 June 2017, with a short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. The selected presenters will be notified by 30 June 2017. Please note that the Interest Group also invites the submission of papers by non-ESIL members.

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Vacancies: PhD and Pre-Doc positions at the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has currently two vacancies in the field of migration studies: a PhD position (4 years) on ‘Europe’s Migration and Migrant Integration Policies in Uncertain Times’ and a one-year Pre-Doc position on ‘Migration Governance in West Africa’ in cooperation with the UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies. The deadline for both vacancies is 30 April 2017. More info can be found here.

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