BofaxeCurrent Developments

“Give me your money, you tired, poor and huddled masses!”

On the introduction of application fees in U.S. asylum law

On 29 April 2019, the President of the United States of America ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers. The restrictions include a fee for asylum applications. This BOFAX reflects on such a fee against the backdrop of the United States’ obligations under international refugee law, especially the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol) to the 1951 Refugee Convention. The President of the U.S. gave the order …

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Current Developments

The necessity to develop a Regional Refugee Framework for South Asia

There are more than two and half million refugees in the South Asian countries, with majority of them residing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. At the same time, the South Asian countries are the place of origin for at least 3 million refugees, with Afghanistan being the country of origin for nearly 2.5 million refugees. Evidently, there is a significant refugee population in the South Asian countries and considering the …

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Current Developments

The alleged seizure of the El Hiblu 1 by rescued migrants

Not a case of piracy under the law of the sea

On 28 March 2019, a Maltese patrol vessel intercepted the Palau-flagged tanker vessel El Hiblu 1 (IMO: 9753258) at the outer limit of Malta’s territorial sea, and the ship was subsequently boarded and secured by a Maltese special operations team using a helicopter. The reason for this operation was that the El Hiblu 1 had allegedly been hijacked by members of a group of migrants it had rescued earlier, and that these migrants had …

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Customary International LawSymposium

The principle of responsibility-sharing in refugee protection

An emerging norm of customary international law

In December 2018, the Global Compact on Refugees was adopted. Especially over the last year, its drafting and negotiations could appear in odd contrast to the surrounding world, in which conditions for seeking asylum continued to harshen. Is the compact a step towards countering these conditions, or mere window-dressing without much effect on refugees’ rights? The compact is non-binding and one widely shared view is that all will depend on …

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Current Developments

Der Globale Migrationspakt: Zwischen Mythen und Sorgen

Die österreichische Bundesregierung hat bekanntgegeben, dem globalen Migrationspakt fernzubleiben. Ein Schritt, der in Deutschland von der AfD bejubelt wurde. Woher kommt die Skepsis? Fest steht: Um den Text ranken sich zahlreiche Mythen, aber auch Missverständnisse. Grund genug, einige davon aufzuklären. Die Debatte rund um den globalen Migrationspakt ist – wohl unvermeidlich bei diesem Thema – von Emotionen und Missverständnissen geprägt. Gibt man auf Youtube „globaler Migrationspakt“ ein, werden Videos mit …

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DiscussionResponse

Rethinking containment through the EU-Libya Migration Deal

This blogpost responds to last week’s post by Stefan Salomon. In response to Nils Muiznieks, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe who asked Italy to clarify its relationships with Libyan militia, the Italian Prime Minister Marco Minniti declared on October 11 that Italy’s goal is twofold: “to prevent migrant crossing which put life at risk […] and to grant that international standards are respected in Libya”. Minniti’s speech should …

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Current Developments

The identification of individuals

Some thoughts on the ECHR judgment in the case N.D. and N.T.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its judgment in the case and N.T. v. Spain found that push-backs to Morocco in the border zone of the Spanish enclave Melilla violated the prohibition of collective expulsion. The decision is important as it concerns the delimitation between legitimate border protection and practices that violate the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – and thereby the key question in all regulation …

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DiscussionKick-off

Brother, where art thou?

Libya, spaces of violence and the diffusion of knowledge

The key political question in recent months has been how to reduce the number of unauthorized migrants that arrive to Europe’s shores in rickety vessels from politically unstable countries in North Africa. The overwhelming majority of the more than 134.000 migrants that arrived by sea to Europe this year landed on Italian shores (approximately 103.300). Most of the migrants landing in Italy departed from wartorn Libya. Italy seems to have …

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Current Developments

Returns Without Examinations

Greece’s Recent Judgment on Syrians’ Asylum Claims

On September 22, 2017, Greece’s highest administrative court – the Council of State – proclaimed that two Syrian asylum seekers can be deported to Turkey as a so-called safe third country. A court official explained the reasons for the judgment stating that “the court rejected the Syrians’ claims that their life and freedom would be in danger if they were returned to Turkey, as the judges opined this did not …

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Current Developments

The C-Star’s Odyssey and the International Law of the Sea

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”, the Greek hero Odysseus, having left his home Ithaca to help bring Helena back from Troy, faced manifold hardships on his return across the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2017, European citizens set sail in a self-prescribed mission not to bring someone home, but to prevent others from calling Europe home. The loosely affiliated Generation Identity, consisting mostly of activists from Austria, France, Germany and …

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