Programme Interest Group workshop in Manchester (13 September 2018)

The Coordinating Committee of the ESIL Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law warmly invites you to attend our Interest Group workshop in Manchester on 13 September 2018 in the framework of the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law.

We have been able to put together two promising panels addressing the UN Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees. Will present their papers:

Giovanni Carlo Bruno (National Research Council, Italy), “Available pathways for regular migration: low-skilled migrants, fundamental rights, and the Global Compact”

Vincent Chetail (Graduate Institute, Geneva), “The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: A Normative Kaleidoscope of International Migration Law”

Marion Panizzon (University of Bern; NCCR), “What is a Compact? Migrants’ Rights and State Responsibilities Regarding the Design of the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (co-authored with: Thomas Gammeltoft Hansen, Elspeth Guild, Violeta Moreno-Lax and Isobel Roele) (tbc)

Chao Yi (McGill University), “Root Causes and Burden/Responsibility-Sharing: Where Are the Countries of Origin in The Global Compact on Refugees?”

Maria Varaki (Erik Castren Institute of International Law and Human Rights, Helsinki), “Ethical leadership and Global Compacts. A test of phronesis and humanity”

More programme details can be found here.

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Call for papers: Environmentally-induced Migration and Human Rights Protection (Rome)

On 5 November 2018, the “Sapienza” University of Rome will host a conference organized by the Interest Group on migration and asylum law of the Italian Society of International and EU Law. An increasing number of people leave their homes because of disasters and environmental degradation and it is expected that in the near future climate change will be the primary push factor of migration, at both internal and international level. The conference aims to stimulate the debate on current practices and possible solutions to address the gaps of the existing international legal framework on environmental migration. The organizers welcome in particular contributions by early career academics presenting theoretical as well as practical approaches. Abstract submissions are due on the 27th of July 2018 and may not exceed 350 words. (please send to: ) More details on the conference and the call for papers can be found here: Environmental migration call

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Publication: Refugees and the Right to Freedom of Movement

IG member Marjoleine Zieck just published her article ‘Refugees and the Right to Freedom of Movement: From Flight to Return’ in the Michigan Journal of International Law (Vol. 39, Issue 1). This background study focuses on the right to freedom of movement of refugees. It reviews the law pertaining to this freedom from the perspective of the spatial journey of refugees. This focus on the law means that extralegal considerations will not be taken into consideration. The analysis will not proceed from any perceived need for limits that should be accepted as “a product of realism about the strains that migration, especially high-volume migration or sudden influxes, can bring to a society.” The article is available for downloading here.

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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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