The End of Refugee Law?

David James Cantor, in Journal of Human Rights Practice, 2017
5 September, 2017

A very interesting article by David Cantor about the value of international refugee law today, and how it could be repurposed. Many thanks to Raoul

“Debates about the end of the global refugee protection regime presuppose a failure of refugee law. Certainly, the plethora of news accounts documenting the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees across the world is sometimes taken to suggest that refugee law has somehow failed in its objectives. Can it be that refugee law has outlived its utility? Has it failed to articulate a shared set of values in international relations? Are we looking at the ‘end days’ of refugee law? The narrow discipline of refugee law might seem poorly positioned to contribute to ‘big picture’ debates about the future of refugee law and protection. However, this is not to say that a view from within the refugee law discipline might not usefully complement broader social and political analyses. Not least since, alongside the wider contextual challenges, the coherence and viability of refugee law is itself also being called into question by trends within refugee law that work to undermine its potential to articulate a shared global vision of refugee protection. Exploring the potential of refugee law to contribute to the development of a new global vision of refugee protection is the aim of this article. It is also a research agenda that refugee law scholars are particularly well-placed to follow. In order to do so, this article cautions that we must first overcome three constraints in our conceptual and methodological approach. By surmounting them, though, we may help to articulate a new and coherent ‘global’ vision of refugee law relevant not only to reshaping the practice of the law but also to broader debates on the future of refugee protection.”

To access the article, please click here

Share this: