Resource person: marina [dot] sharpelaw [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk (Marina Sharpe)
Marina Sharpe is a D.Phil. candidate in law at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the role of the regional human rights system in refugee protection in Africa. Marina has previously worked at the International Refugee Rights Initiative and the Refugee Law Project, both in Kampala, at the Refugee Studies Centre and Fahamu, both in Oxford, at AMERA in Cairo, and has practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and London. Marina has been called to the bars of England & Wales and New York.
This manual has been developed in connection with UNHCR's 10-Point Plan of Action, which was launched in 2006 to help governments identify and protect refugees within increasingly complex population flows.
This two-page document gives a clear rundown of the terms used in refugee / immigration discourse, and may be a useful starting point for training purposes, though some parts are specific to the Canadian system.
De nombreux termes sont utilisés pour parler des réfugiés et des immigrants. Certains ont une signification juridique, d’autres ont une connotation péjorative. L’utilisation des termes appropriés est essentielle au respect des personnes et favorise la tenue d’un débat éclairé dans ce domaine, et cet glossaire est une bonne ressource pour la formation.
The National Immigrant Justice Center's Basic Procedural Manual for Asylum Representation
The National Immigrant Justice Center's Basic Procedural Manual for Asylum Representation is recommended. Although much of it deals with US law and procedure that may not be relevant in other jurisdictions, some sections, like "Preparing for the Hearing on the Merits" starting on p. 35, have lots of good general information on how to interview clients and prepare a case.
The Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center’s Immigration Equality Asylum Manual
The Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center provides and online Immigration Equality Asylum Manual. The manual focuses mainly on LGBT claims, but it also provides general asylum practice advice.
The Advocates for Human Rights’ Pro Bono Asylum Representation Manual: An Overview of Asylum Law & Procedure
Advocates for Human Rights offer an online Pro Bono Asylum Representation Manual. Applicable practice information generally covers Preparing the Asylum Application, Interviewing the Client, Establishing Trust with Your Client, Overcoming Cultural Barriers, Dealing with Psychological Barriers, Interviewing through an Interpreter, various Practice Pointers, Affidavits, Corroborative Evidence, Personal Documentation, Material Witnesses, Country Conditions Documentation, Expert Witnesses, and more.
Researching Country of Origin Information
"Researching Country of Origin Information" is a document that could be useful to some academics who have no experience in writing declarations on behalf of asylum seekers. It includes all the relevant refugee laws for those of you who may need background on the 1951 Convention and other legal matters pertinent to refugees. There are also links to declarations or expert opinions published by various organisations that you can easily access.
Books for Basic Training in Refugee Status Determination
The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Asylum Primer by Regina Germain
The current, 6th edition sells for $109, $79 for members, at (http://www.ailapubs.org/ailasprim.html).The Table of Contents (http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/aila/AsylumTOC6th.pdf) lists appendices and subsections on “Interviewing and Intake,” “Practice Pointers for Completing the Asylum Application,” “Sample Declaration,” “Checklist for Preparing for the Asylum Interview,” “Sample Closing Statement,” “Checklist for Supporting Documentation,” “Sample Index of Supporting Documentation,” “Sample Affidavits (Country Conditions; Medical),” “Preparing for the Hearing,” “Practice Pointers on Direct and Cross-Examination of the Asylum Applicant,” “Sample Brief,” “Selected Resources for Country Condition Information,” “Recommended Texts and Tools,” etc.
Law of Asylum in the United States by Deborah E. Anker
Law of Asylum in the United States can be found on Amazon at (http://www.amazon.com/Asylum-United-States-Immigration-Library/dp/0314903348/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318507653&sr=1-1).
Procedures for determining refugee status
Handbook and Guidelines on Procedures for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
The “Handbook and Guidelines on Procedures for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees”, has been reissued in December 2011. The Handbook was first issued in September 1979 at the request of Member States of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme. A second edition was released in January 1992, which updated information concerning accessions to the international refugee instruments. To preserve its integrity, the Handbook remains unchanged also in the present edition, although the annexes have again been updated. In addition to the Handbook, and in response to the varying legal interpretations of Article 1 of the 1951 Convention in national jurisdictions, UNHCR has continued to issue legal positions on specific questions of international refugee law. In this connection, UNHCR has gazetted “Guidelines on International Protection”, as envisaged under the Agenda for Protection following the 50th anniversary events in 2001-2002. These Guidelines complement and update the Handbook and should be read in combination with it. Included in this edition are the first eight Guidelines in the series. The explanations provided in this publication of key components of refugee status determination are based on the accumulated views of UNHCR, State practice, Executive Committee Conclusions, academic literature and judicial decisions at national, regional and international levels, over a sixty-year period. The Handbook and Guidelines are issued pursuant to UNHCR’s supervisory responsibility contained in paragraph 8 of the 1950 Statute of UNHCR in conjunction with Articles 35 and 36 of the 1951 Convention and Article II of the 1967 Protocol. The Handbook and the Guidelines are intended to guide government officials, judges, practitioners, as well as UNHCR staff applying the refugee definition. It is hoped that they will continue to provide an important reference for refugee status determination around the world and help resolve variations in interpretation.
UNHCR Self Study Modules
UNHCR has produced a series of self taught modules for those requiring a basis in refugee law and the work of UNHCR in particular. They are available direct from the UNHCR website - www.unhcr.org.
LGBTI Self Study Module
The Refugee Law Reader
Resource Person/Editor: Dr Maryellen Fullerton
The Refugee Law Reader: Cases, Documents and Materials (6th edn.) is a comprehensive on-line model curriculum for the study of the complex and rapidly evolving field of international refugee law. We are proud to continue with the expanded and universal edition of The Reader, which provides sections on international and regional frameworks of refugee law, covering Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Adapted language versions with specific regional focus are available in French, Russian and Spanish.
The Reader is aimed for the use of professors, lawyers, advocates, and students across a wide range of national jurisdictions. It provides a flexible course structure that can be easily adapted to meet a range of training and resource needs. The Reader also offers access to the complete texts of up-to-date core legal materials, instruments, and academic commentary. In its entirety, The Refugee Law Reader is designed to provide a full curriculum for a 48-hour course in International Refugee Law and contains over 700 documents and materials.
The Refugee Law Reader was initiated and is supported by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and funded by the European Refugee Fund and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). We also wish to thank the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) for its support.
Structure and Content
The Reader is divided into six sections: Introduction to International Refugee Law, The International Framework for Refugee Protection, The African Framework for Refugee Protection, The Asian Framework for Refugee Protection, The European Framework for Refugee Protection and The Latin American Framework for Refugee Protection. Each section contains the relevant hard and soft law, the most important cases decided by national or international courts and tribunals, and a carefully selected set of academic commentaries.
To facilitate teaching and stimulate critical discussion, the Editors highlight the main legal and policy debates that address each topic, as well as the main points that should be drawn from the assigned reading. In many sections of the syllabus, readers may also access Editor’s Notes, which contain more detailed commentary and suggestions for teaching in a given subject area.
Because of the depth, scope, and flexibility of the Reader, it is now being accessed in several continents by over 20,000 users. In this edition, The Reader has ‘universalized’ by introducing new regional legal sections focusing on Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Alongside the English language publication, adapted language editions will be launched in French, Russian, and Spanish. The Editorial Board hopes that with these new developments, The Reader can move towards an effective regional approach to refugee legal education that will overcome language and geographical barriers and can effectively serve a larger community of asylum experts worldwide.
The Reader first deals with the international refugee law regime and its foundations: the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the expanding mandate of UNHCR and regional developments which have a bearing on the universal perception of the rights and duties of forced migrants. The concepts and the processes are analysed in light of the formative hard and soft law documents and discussed in an up-to-date, high standard and detailed academic commentary. Issues underlying the global dilemmas of refugee law are tackled, taking into account developments in related areas of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as research advances in the field of migration.
In addition to the examination of the classic problematique of international refugee law, The Reader also presents the major regional frameworks for refugee protection. The new African section includes the core legal instruments for refugee protection in Africa and focuses on the central legal and policy challenges in their implementation. East Africa is presented in the first of sub-regional case studies. Additional studies of refugee protection in Northern, Western and Southern African will be forthcoming in the 6th edition of The Reader. The Asian section presents the framework of protection on a continent where most States are not signatories to the 1951 Convention. It offers an overview of selected national refugee laws and policies on the continent and explores some of the broader protection challenges in the region. The European section presents the detailed pan-European asylum system that is under construction and that is creating regional norms and standards in the area of asylum that have been, and will continue to be, looked to by policy makers around the world. This section contains an excellent collection of the central instruments that are shaping regional law and policy. They are current up until October 2008. The final section considers the distinctive framework of refugee protection that has emerged in Latin America, presenting the regional instruments and jurisprudence alongside a thematic examination of internal displacement in Latin America that is explored in the context of a case study of Colombia.
While we have attempted to design The Reader so that users across jurisdictions, and with varying objectives, can select their own focus for the material, it is important that central themes of The Reader should not be discarded in this à la carte approach to refugee law.
Prior to the launch of the adapted language editions of The Reader, translated syllabi of the English edition will be made available on-line. The Reader syllabus has been translated into Spanish (downloadable in a PDF format), and French and Russian translations will be following soon.
Accessing Source Material
Most of the core documents and materials contained in The Reader are accessible in their full text format to all users. Core readings can be downloaded from The Reader website. As there are a large number of core readings that are accessible in The Reader, we recommend that the readings should only be selectively printed. Professors may wish to assign their students segments of the assigned readings, and many of the documents, and particularly lengthy legal instruments, can be effectively reviewed on-line. In addition, the Editors have included citations to extended readings, which are not downloadable, for those who wish to study certain topics in more depth. In general, the extended readings are less central to an understanding of the topic, but on occasion copyright restrictions have required the Editors to categorize an important (new) reading as “extended”.
One of the significant advantages of an on-line Reader is that it is able to provide access to instruments, documents and cases in their entirety, offering a rich source of material for academic writing. It should be noted that for purposes of citation, however, the process of downloading articles in PDF format does not always translate the page numbers of the original publication. Hence, please consult the full citation that appears in the syllabus to ensure accuracy.
The Reader uses James C. Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status (Toronto: Butterworths, 1991) and G. Goodwin-Gill and J. McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) as core texts. The Reader is able to provide open and full access to the assigned pages of The Law of Refugee Status. While it is likely that many university professors and students will have access to the Goodwin-Gill and McAdams 2007 third revised edition of The Refugee in International Law in their libraries or university bookshops, the Editors are aware that many of our users may not. These users, however, will still benefit from full access to the text of the assigned reading from the second edition of Goodwin-Gill’s The Refugee in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). Hence, the Editors have included parallel citations for the 3rd and 2nd editions of The Refugee in International Law throughout The Reader to ensure that all can follow the core readings in the syllabus regardless of resources.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee can be contacted with regard to The Refugee Law Reader at readerlarc [dot] info.
Confidentiality and Ethics
The Nairobi Code is an ethical standard for organizations providing legal aid to refugees.
This page also provides training materials for law clinics and lawyers providing Pro Bono legal aid to refugees under the Nairobi Code.
They are intended:
- for participants to learn the intricacies of the Nairobi Code and its principles;
- for participants to learn to apply the Nairobi Code in a variety of situations; and
- for participants to understand that if they think they have an ethical conflict with a client, they should seek advice!
Legal Ethics Video Training
This series of short videos explores the basic principles of the Nairobi Code that governs legal ethics in refugee law. The series of videos provides guidance: including how to deal with specific ethical dilemmas, how to ensure that your legal practice remains transparent yet confidential, and how to develop a trusting and professional relationship with clients. Also included is the text of the Nairobi Code itself, and a set of Hypotheticals, which can be used as a practice tool to develop a deeper understanding of the duties implicit in the Nairobi Code.
- Confidentiality video and powerpoint.
- Duty of Diligence
- Duty of Integrity part one and part two
- Client-Adviser Relationship
- Conflict of Interest
- Duty to Avoid Exploitation part one and part two
These training materials were prepared by Asylum Access.