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Why Guidance From The Supreme Court Is Required In Redefining The Particular Social Group Definition In Refugee Law, Liliya Paraketsova Jan 2018

Why Guidance From The Supreme Court Is Required In Redefining The Particular Social Group Definition In Refugee Law, Liliya Paraketsova

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

One of the most debated topics in refugee law has been the meaning of particular social group (PSG)—one of the five categories used to claim refugee status. In 2006, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) adopted a narrower PSG definition. Since that adoption, a circuit split has persisted over the meaning of PSG. Two circuits in particular have continually refused to adopt this definition—even when the BIA attempted to revise the definition in response to their criticism. This Note proposes a reform that would include a compromise between the two current definitions of PSG by rejecting the BIA ...


Special Feature: Eighth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law, James C. Hathaway Jan 2018

Special Feature: Eighth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law, James C. Hathaway

Michigan Journal of International Law

It is our hope that, as in the case of earlier Michigan Guidelines on the International Protection of Refugees, these unanimously agreed standards will inspire a thoughtful and principled debate among scholars, officials, and judicial and other refugee law decision-makers committed to the legally accurate and contextually sound application of international refugee law norms.


The Michigan Guidelines On Risk For Reasons Of Political Opinion, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2016

The Michigan Guidelines On Risk For Reasons Of Political Opinion, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Michigan Journal of International Law

The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (“Convention”) recognizes as refugees those who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on the basis of inter alia “political opinion,” are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their home country


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

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

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 ...


Principled Exclusion: A Revised Approach To Article1(F)(A) Of The Refugee Convention, Jennifer Bond Jan 2013

Principled Exclusion: A Revised Approach To Article1(F)(A) Of The Refugee Convention, Jennifer Bond

Michigan Journal of International Law

The focus of this contribution is Article 1(F)(a), a section of the exclusion clause that has increased in both use and profile in recent years. Article 1(F)(a) applies to individuals who may be implicated in crimes against peace (more commonly known today as crimes of aggression), war crimes, or crimes against humanity as such crimes are defined in relevant international instruments. Where a decision maker finds that “there are serious reasons for considering that” an asylum seeker has committed one of these acts, the remainder of the Refugee Convention does not apply, and any protections to ...


The Michigan Guidelines On The Exclusion Of International Criminals, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2013

The Michigan Guidelines On The Exclusion Of International Criminals, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Michigan Journal of International Law

With a view to promoting a shared understanding of the proper approach to Article 1(F)(a) exclusion from refugee status, we have engaged in sustained collaborative study and reflection on relevant norms and state practice. Our research was debated and refined at the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, convened in March 2013 by the University of Michigan’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law. These Guidelines are the product of that endeavor, and reflect the consensus of Colloquium participants on how decision makers can best ensure the application of Article 1(F)(a) in a manner ...


Sixth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law: Introduction, James C. Hathaway Jan 2013

Sixth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law: Introduction, James C. Hathaway

Michigan Journal of International Law

The goal of the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law was to develop a principled and workable framework to guide the process of considering the exclusion from refugee status of persons believed to have committed international crimes.


Queer Cases Make Bad Law, James C. Hathaway, Jason Pobjoy Jan 2012

Queer Cases Make Bad Law, James C. Hathaway, Jason Pobjoy

Articles

The Refugee Convention, now adopted by 147 states, is the primary instrument governing refugee status under international law. The Convention sets a binding and nonamendable definition of which persons are entitled to recognition as refugees, and thus to enjoy the surrogate or substitute national protection of an asylum state. The core of the article 1A(2) definition provides that a refugee is a person who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.” A person is thus a refugee, and entitled to the non-refoulement and other ...


Fifth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law. The Michigan Guidelines On The Right To Work., Penelope Mathew Jan 2010

Fifth Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law. The Michigan Guidelines On The Right To Work., Penelope Mathew

Michigan Journal of International Law

An Explanatory Note covering the Fifth Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law and the Right to Work.


The Michigan Guidelines On The Right To Work, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2010

The Michigan Guidelines On The Right To Work, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Michigan Journal of International Law

The right to work is fundamental to human dignity. It is central to survival and development of the human personality. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), decent work "sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives-for opportunity and income; rights, voice and recognition ..." Work is interrelated, interdependent with, and indivisible from the rights to life, equality, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, an adequate standard of living, the right to social security and/or social assistance, freedom of movement, freedom of association, and the rights to privacy and family life, among others.


Revisiting Germany's Residenzpflicht In Light Of Modern E.U. Asylum Law, Paul Mcdonough Jan 2009

Revisiting Germany's Residenzpflicht In Light Of Modern E.U. Asylum Law, Paul Mcdonough

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note explores whether the E.C. treaties, nonetheless, provide the European Court of Justice (ECJ) sufficient competence to use the Reception Directive as a vehicle to assess the Residenzpflicht in relation to the Refugee Convention. It concludes that, through the Residenzpflicht, Germany denies refugees lawfully present their Convention right to free movement within its territory, and that the ECJ can order the restoration of this right.


The Michigan Guidelines On Protection Elsewhere, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2007

The Michigan Guidelines On Protection Elsewhere, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Other Publications

Refugees increasingly encounter laws and policies which provide that their protection needs will be considered or addressed somewhere other than in the territory of the state where they have sought, or intend to seek, protection. Such policies-including "country of first arrival," "safe third country," and extraterritorial processing rules and practices-raise both opportunities and challenges for international refugee law. They have the potential to respond to the Refugee Convention's concern "that the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries" by more fairly allocating protection responsibilities among states. But insistence that protection be provided elsewhere may also ...


More Than Mere Semantics: The Case For An Expansive Definition Of Persecution In Sexual Minority Asylum Claims, Monica Saxena Jan 2006

More Than Mere Semantics: The Case For An Expansive Definition Of Persecution In Sexual Minority Asylum Claims, Monica Saxena

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article asserts that the requirement in U.S. asylum law that requires an asylee to make a showing of persecutory intent is overly and especially restrictive in claims made by sexual minorities. This Article proposes that the U.S. adopt the asylum standards of New Zealand and Canada, where the focus is on the failure of government protection as opposed to a focus on persecutory intent. Such standards are consistent with both the realities of persecution that sexual minorities encounter and the original impetus behind the Refugee Convention. Part I examines the different forms of persecution against sexual minorities ...


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 ...


The Michigan Guidelines On Well-Founded Fear, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law Jan 2005

The Michigan Guidelines On Well-Founded Fear, Colloquium On Challenges In International Refugee Law

Other Publications

An individual qualifies as a Convention refugee only if he or she has a "well-founded fear" of being persecuted. While it is generally agreed that the "well-founded fear" requirement limits refugee status to persons who face an actual, forward-looking risk of being persecuted (the "objective element"), linguistic ambiguity has resulted in a divergence of views regarding whether the test also involves assessment of the state of mind of the person seeking recognition of refugee status (the "subjective element").


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 ...


Refugee Protection In International Law: Unhcr's Global Consultations On International Protection, Taylor H. Garrett Jan 2004

Refugee Protection In International Law: Unhcr's Global Consultations On International Protection, Taylor H. Garrett

Michigan Journal of International Law

Review of Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR's Global Consultations on International Protection (Erika Feller, Volker Türk & Frances Nicholson eds.)


Review Of Rethinking Refugee Law, By N. Nathwani. , James C. Hathaway Jan 2004

Review Of Rethinking Refugee Law, By N. Nathwani. , James C. Hathaway

Reviews

It is a wonderful thing when a work of scholarship is published just as policymakers are struggling with the issues that it seeks to address.


Internal Protection/Relocation/Flight Alternative As An Aspect Of Refugee Status Determination, James C. Hathaway, Michelle Foster Jan 2003

Internal Protection/Relocation/Flight Alternative As An Aspect Of Refugee Status Determination, James C. Hathaway, Michelle Foster

Book Chapters

In many jurisdictions around the world, the possibility of an ‘internal flight alternative’(IFA) (often referred to as ‘internal relocation alternative’) is invoked to deny refugee status to persons at risk of being persecuted for a Convention reason in part, but not all, of their country of origin. In this, as in so many areas of refugee lawand policy, the viability of a universal commitment to protection is challenged by divergence in State practice. The goals of this paper are therefore, first, briefly to review the origins and development of the practice of considering IFA as an aspect of the ...


What's In A Label?, James C. Hathaway Jan 2003

What's In A Label?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

One of the most striking features of the international refugee regime as it has evolved over the last quarter century is the proliferation of labels. Rather than simply assessing the circumstances of applicants against the Convention refugee definition, the governments of most developed states have instead invented a seemingly endless list of alternative statuses - "B" status, humanitarian admission, temporary protected status, special leave to remain, Duldung, and the like. Persons assigned one of these labels have generally been protected against refoulement in line with Article 33 of the Refugee Convention. But in a variety of other ways, they have not ...


Repairing The Legacy Of Ins V. Elias-Zacarias, Shayna S. Cook Jan 2002

Repairing The Legacy Of Ins V. Elias-Zacarias, Shayna S. Cook

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article examines the evolution of the nexus requirement in United States refugee law since the Elias-Zacarias decision. Part I discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Elias-Zacarias, identifying the choices the Court made among the arguments presented before it that resulted in the motive-oriented approach to nexus. This Part also delves into the Court's statement about the evidence required to demonstrate motive, concluding that the Court's treatment of the evidence before it foreshadows the confusion lower courts have demonstrated in evaluating evidence of motive. Part II looks at appellate decisions on the nexus issue since 1992, highlighting ...


Persecution In The Fog Of War: The House Of Lords' Decision In Adan, Michael Kagan, William P. Johnson Jan 2002

Persecution In The Fog Of War: The House Of Lords' Decision In Adan, Michael Kagan, William P. Johnson

Michigan Journal of International Law

In this Article, we argue that the House of Lords' reasoning in Adan was seriously flawed. The House of Lords correctly recognized that evidence that minorities face a heightened risk of being persecuted can be sufficient to show a nexus to a Convention ground. Yet it erred when it went on to hold that only differentially at-risk individuals or groups can benefit from refugee status. If a person's risk of being persecuted is causally linked to his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, the nexus requirement is satisfied irrespective of whether ...


Causation In Context: Interpreting The Nexus Clause In The Refugee Convention, Michelle Foster Jan 2002

Causation In Context: Interpreting The Nexus Clause In The Refugee Convention, Michelle Foster

Michigan Journal of International Law

The aim of this Article is to explore current approaches to identifying and applying the causation test inherent in the "for reasons of" clause and to attempt to devise a sui generis test appropriate to the unique aims and objects of the Convention. Part I begins by reviewing both the principles governing the causation analysis and their methods of application in different jurisdictions. Part II then proceeds to review the considerations that might inform the development of a causation standard in refugee law, including guidance that might be obtained from other areas of law, against the background of the need ...


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.


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 ...