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Non-Refoulement In A World Of Cooperative Deterrence, James C. Hathaway, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen Jan 2015

Non-Refoulement In A World Of Cooperative Deterrence, James C. Hathaway, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen

Articles

Developed states have what might charitably be called a schizophrenic attitude towards international refugee law. Determined to remain formally engaged with refugee law and yet unwavering in their commitment to avoid assuming their fair share of practical responsibilities under that regime, wealthier countries have embraced the politics of non-entrée, comprising efforts to keep refugees away from their territories but without formally resiling from treaty obligations. As the early generation of non-entrée practices — visa controls and carrier sanctions, the establishment of “international zones,” and high seas deterrence — have proved increasingly vulnerable to practical and legal challenges, new forms of non-entrée predicated ...


Food Deprivation: A Basis For Refugee Status?, James C. Hathaway Jul 2014

Food Deprivation: A Basis For Refugee Status?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

It is commonplace to speak of those in flight from famine, or otherwise migrating in search of food, as “refugees.” Over the past decade alone, millions of persons have abandoned their homes in countries such as North Korea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, and Somalia, hoping that by moving they could find the nourishment needed to survive. In a colloquial sense, these people are refugees: they are on the move not by choice, but rather because their own desperation compels them to pursue a survival strategy away from the desperation confronting their home communities.

The question addressed here is whether persons in ...


Leveraging Asylum, James C. Hathaway Jan 2010

Leveraging Asylum, James C. Hathaway

Articles

I believe that the analysis underlying the leveraged right to asylum is conceptually flawed. As I will show, there is no duty of non-refoulement that binds all states as a matter of customary international law and it is not the case that all persons entitled to claim protection against refoulement of some kind are ipso facto entitled to refugee rights. These claims are unsound precisely because the critical bedrock of a real international legal obligation-namely, the consent of states evinced by either formal commitments or legally relevant actions -does not yet exist.


The Human Rights Quagmire Of 'Human Trafficking', James C. Hathaway Jan 2008

The Human Rights Quagmire Of 'Human Trafficking', James C. Hathaway

Articles

Support for the international fight against "human trafficking" evolved quickly and comprehensively. The campaign launched by the UN General Assembly in December 19981 led to adoption just two years later of the Trafficking Protocol to the UN Convention against Organized Crime.2 U.S. President George W. Bush was among those particularly committed to the cause, calling for collective effort to eradicate the "special evil" of human trafficking, said by him to have become a "humanitarian crisis."3 One hundred and twenty-two countries have now ratified the Trafficking Protocol, agreeing in particular to criminalize trafficking and to cooperate in investigating ...


Why Refugee Law Still Matters, James C. Hathaway Jan 2007

Why Refugee Law Still Matters, James C. Hathaway

Articles

I am concerned that the singular importance of international refugee law is profoundly misunderstood. My more specific worry is that erroneous and competing claims by governments and the refugee advocacy community about the structure and purpose of refugee law threaten its continuing ability to play a truly unique human rights role at a time when no meaningful alternative is in sight.


The False Panacea Of Offshore Deterrence, James C. Hathaway Jan 2006

The False Panacea Of Offshore Deterrence, James C. Hathaway

Articles

Governments take often shockingly blunt action to deter refugees and other migrants found on the high seas, in their island territories and in overseas enclaves. There is a pervasive belief that when deterrence is conducted at arms-length from the homeland it is either legitimate or, at the very least, immune from legal accountability.


Refugees' Human Rights And The Challenge Of Political Will, James C. Hathaway Jan 2006

Refugees' Human Rights And The Challenge Of Political Will, James C. Hathaway

Articles

Governments in all parts of the world are withdrawing in practice from meeting the legal duty to provide refugees with the protection they require. While states continue to proclaim a willingness to assist refugees as a matter of political discretion or humanitarian goodwill, many appear committed to a pattern of defensive strategies designed to avoid international legal responsibility toward involuntary migrants. Some see this shift away from a legal paradigm of refugee protection as a source of enhanced operational flexibility in the face of changed political circumstances. For refugees themselves, however, the increasingly marginal relevance of international refugee law has ...


The Right Of States To Repatriate Former Refugees, James C. Hathaway Jan 2005

The Right Of States To Repatriate Former Refugees, James C. Hathaway

Articles

Armed conflict often results in the large-scale exodus of refugees into politically and economically fragile neighboring states. The burdens on asylum countries can be extreme, and may only be partly offset by the arrival of international aid and protection resources. Moreover, difficulties inherent in the provision of asylum have been exacerbated in recent years by the increasing disinclination of the wealthier countries that fund the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and most other assistance agencies to meet the real costs of protection. In such circumstances, it is unsurprising that as conflicts wind down, host countries ordinarily seek to ...


Is There A Subjective Element In The Refugee Convention's Requirement Of 'Well-Founded Fear'?, James C. Hathaway, William S. Hicks Jan 2005

Is There A Subjective Element In The Refugee Convention's Requirement Of 'Well-Founded Fear'?, James C. Hathaway, William S. Hicks

Articles

Linguistic ambiguity in the refugee definition's requirement of "well-founded fear" of being persecuted has given rise to a wide range of interpretations. There is general agreement that a fear is "well-founded" only if the refugee claimant faces an actual, forward-looking risk of being persecuted in her country of origin (the "objective element"). But it is less clear whether the well-founded "fear" standard also requires a showing that the applicant is not only genuinely at risk, but also stands in trepidation of being persecuted. Beyond vague references to the subjective quality of "fear," few courts or commentators have undertaken the ...


Who Should Watch Over Refugee Law?, James C. Hathaway Jan 2002

Who Should Watch Over Refugee Law?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

We simply cannot afford to sell out the future of refugee protection in a hasty bid to establish something that looks, more or less, like an oversight mechanism for the Refugee Convention.


Who Should Watch Over Refugee Law?, James C. Hathaway Jan 2002

Who Should Watch Over Refugee Law?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

We simply cannot afford to sell out the future of refugee protection in a hasty bid to establish something that looks, more or less, like an oversight mechanism for the Refugee Convention.


Why Supervise The Refugee Convention?, James C. Hathaway Jan 2001

Why Supervise The Refugee Convention?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

The Refugee Convention is the only major human rights treaty that is not externally supervised. Under all of the other key UN human rights accords — on the rights of women and children, against torture and racial discrimination, and to promote civil and political, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights — there is at least some effort made to ensure that States are held accountable for what they have signed onto.


Framing Refugee Protection In The New World Disorder, James C. Hathaway, Colin J. Harvey Jan 2001

Framing Refugee Protection In The New World Disorder, James C. Hathaway, Colin J. Harvey

Articles

A number of jurisdictions have fastened onto a "solution" that appears to reconcile respect for refugee law with the determination of states to rid themselves quickly of potentially violent asylum seekers. Courts in these states have been persuaded that a person who has committed or facilitated acts of violence may lawfully be denied a refugee status hearing under a clause of the Refugee Convention that authorizes the automatic exclusion of persons whom the government reasonably believes are international or extraditable criminals. Refugee law so interpreted is reconcilable with even fairly blunt measures for the exclusion of violent asylum seekers. In ...


Refugee Rights Are Not Negotiable, James C. Hathaway, Anne K. Cusick Jan 2000

Refugee Rights Are Not Negotiable, James C. Hathaway, Anne K. Cusick

Articles

America's troubled relationship with international law, in particular human rights law, is well documented. In many cases, the United States simply will not agree to be bound by international human rights treaties. For example, the United States has yet to ratify even such fundamental agreements as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. When the United States does agree to become a party to an international human rights treaty, it has often sought to condition its ...


Can International Refugee Law Be Made Relevant Again?, James C. Hathaway Jan 1998

Can International Refugee Law Be Made Relevant Again?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

Ironic though it may seem, I believe that the present breakdown in the authority of international refugee law is attributable to its failure explicitly to accommodate the reasonable preoccupations of governments in the countries to which refugees flee. International refugee law is part of a system of state self-regulation. It will therefore be respected only to the extent that receiving states believe that it fairly reconciles humanitarian objectives to their national interests. In contrast, refugee law arbitrarily assigns full legal responsibility for protection to whatever state asylum-seekers are able to reach. It is a peremptory regime. Apart from the right ...


Making International Refugee Law Relevant Again: A Proposal For Collectivized And Solution-Oriented Protection, James C. Hathaway, R. Alexander Neve Jan 1997

Making International Refugee Law Relevant Again: A Proposal For Collectivized And Solution-Oriented Protection, James C. Hathaway, R. Alexander Neve

Articles

International refugee law is in crisis. Even as armed conflict and human rights abuse continue to force individuals and groups to flee their home countries, many governments are withdrawing from the legal duty to provide refugees with the protection they require. While governments proclaim a willingness to assist refugees as a matter of political discretion or humanitarian goodwill, they appear committed to a pattern of defensive strategies designed to avoid international legal responsibility toward involuntary migrants. Some see this shift away from a legal paradigm of refugee protection as a source for enhanced operational flexibility in the face of changed ...