Call for ContributionsCurrent DevelopmentsIL in Times of Pandemics

Call for Contributions: International law in pandemic times

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis of global dimension. With numerous countries imposing shut-downs, closing their borders and limiting international trade and cooperation, the crisis in some ways appears to have prompted a return of the nation state that seemed unimaginable only weeks ago and has already given rise to the question whether we are currently witnessing the end of globalization (see on this here and here). International …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

From persecution to poverty

Trump’s Guatemala ‘agreement’ and the expansion of the ‘safe third country’ principle

A 2019 ‘safe third country’ agreement between Guatemala and the US allows the US to send asylum seekers who arrived at the US-Mexican border to Guatemala. Under the agreement Guatemala processes the asylum seekers’ claims sent by the US and if successful grant protection. On the 6th of January 2020 a U.S Department of Homeland Security spokesperson made a statement outlining that certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protection in the US …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

A significant opening

On the HRC’s groundbreaking first ruling in the case of a ‘climate refugee’

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) has just added to the many important international legal developments of the young decade and issued its first ruling on the case of a “climate refugee”, i.e. a person fleeing their home country because of the effects of climate change. This post analyses the groundbreaking ruling which increases the pressure on states to take action against climate change and explains its significance (see the full …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Alle Wege führen nach Dublin

Über die rechtswidrige Rückschiebung eines afghanischen Flüchtlings nach Griechenland

Im Jahr 2018 einigte sich Deutschland mit Griechenland in Form eines Verwaltungsabkommens darauf, dass aus Griechenland über Österreich nach Deutschland einreisende Flüchtlinge unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen unverzüglich nach Athen zurückgeführt werden dürfen. Im Zuge dessen verweigerte die Bundespolizeidirektion einem aus Afghanistan stammenden Flüchtling nach einer Kontrolle die Weiterreise und sorgte für seine Rückführung nach Griechenland, wo er zuerst einen Asylantrag gestellt hatte. Im Rahmen des einstweiligen Rechtsschutzes geht nun das Verwaltungsgericht …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Between policy and reality

On the challenges of being a refugee in Asia

Since the violent events of August 2017, which triggered one of the most recent mass exoduses of Rohingyas from Rakhine state in Myanmar, the Rohingya diaspora continues to rise. Many are still stranded in Bangladesh, some have managed to risk their lives on boats and journeyed across the seas to reach Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, while others have attempted to flee to Australia, only to be trapped on Manus Island. …

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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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