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Semester 1

Asylum and Refugee Law and Policy (LAWS10175)







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**This course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.** Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. If there is sufficient space for other visiting students to enrol at the start of the semester, visiting students must have completed at least 3 Law courses at grade B or above to qualify for this course; we will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

This course aims to examine, through a socio-legal lens, the treatment of refugees, as defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention. Its main focus is therefore on asylum seekers, and legal processes involved in claiming asylum in the UK, with some reference to the EU. It examines the development of policy and law in the area with reference to key concepts such as internal relocation, persecution, and the Convention reasons that can ground a claim of persecution. In particular we will focus on the bureaucratic and legal hurdles that asylum seekers must surmount to become officially recognised as legitimate refugees in the UK, especially the problems of evidencing and proving credibility. This will include the observation of the operation of an asylum and immigration First Tier Tribunal in practice. The courses therefore will allow students to understand the theory, the policy and the practice of applying the UN Convention in the UK.

Course Description

There will be 10 substantive sessions, taught by experts on asylum and refugee law from across the CHSS. The main focus will be asylum and refugee law and policy at the supra national and UK level. A possible course outline is as follows: Week 1: The background and history of the UN Convention on refugees and the interpretation of these obligations at EU level, including the Qualification Directive. Week 2: Convention reasons and the evolution of key concepts such as persecution. Week 3: UK asylum system. Week 4: Interpretation and cultural communication. Week 5: Visit to asylum tribunal. Week 6: Reading week. Week 7: The role of the asylum lawyer (tribunal report due at the end of this week). Week 8: The role of Expert Evidence. Week 9: Objective evidence and country of information reports. Week 10: Credibility case studies: torture, sexual violence and sexual orientation. Week 11: Displacement and relocation, concepts of home.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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