International Refugee Law and Policy

Andreas SchloenhardtJuly 15 – July 264 ECTS credits


This course explores international refugee law and policy in theory and practice. It provides an introduction to the concepts and causes of irregular migration and refugee flows, the history and key features of international refugee law, and it explores the refugee situation and systems in a range of countries. The course examines the international obligations under the Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and outlines the present laws and policies in relation to asylum seekers. The course further looks at irregular migration and forced migration more broadly with a special emphasis on smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.

The discussions, exercises, and working-group sessions during the course invite students to critically reflect on the situation of refugees and displaced persons, on the nature and objectives of international refugee law, and the rationale of international, regional, and domestic policies in this field. Moreover, the course seeks to improve communication, teamwork, argumentative, presentation, and research skills. The course enhances students’ abilities to research relevant material, critically analyse policy documents and legislation, case studies and scholarly writing, and elaborate practical recommendations for law reform and policy change.

Assessment: seminar exercises and participation (30% of final grade), mid-course exam (20%) and group project with oral presentation (50%).