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1998

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

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

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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 ...