SELECT ARTICLES, BOOK CHAPTERS, BOOK REVIEWS & CASE NOTES
Refugees, Terrorism and Article 1 of the Refugee Convention, in James C. Simeon, Terroism and Asylum, Refugee Law Initiative: Working Paper Series Mini-volume (Papers 31-36) 2019, 32: 6-16.
Article 1 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees contains a definition of a refugee in which the persecuted victim and dangerous terrorist are drawn together in close proximity. It is in the interests of asylum seekers and their advocates to separate out the two dimensions of the refugee. It is in the interests of states to ensure they remain welded together. Drawing substantially on Walter Benjamin’s 1921 essay ‘Critique of Violence’, this paper seeks to contribute to ongoing discussions concerning the increasing use by states of the paragraph F exclusion clause in Article 1. The paper argues that paragraph F always had primacy over other provisions of the Refugee Convention, and it seeks to explain why it is that, for a long time, paragraph A(2) appeared to take precedence over paragraph F.
Transitions: Refugees and Natives. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 20 (2), 2013, 79-197.
European Directive 2004/83 (the ‘Qualification Directive’) limits claims for asylum to those refugees coming from outside of the European Union. The provision institutionalises a long established practice in which member states of the European Union are presumed to be safe countries of origin and safe countries of asylum. This article argues that the European Union could not have come into being without producing refugees. With reference to Article 1.A (2) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it seeks to explore how the international law governing the status of refugees has been deployed to deny that the European Union is a place of origin of refugees.
A-Legality and the Death of the Refugee, vol 27(1) Law and
Article 33 of the Refugee Convention challenges us to think beyond the trinity of state–people–territory and thus to think beyond the bio-political condition. The content of the obligation contained in Article 33 is clear: it seeks to protect the asylum-seeker from the violence that we know is meted out through and on territory. If the way beyond the tragedy of mass statelessness is to accord equal value to the ‘abstract nakedness’ (Arendt 1968, p. 297) of the human being then the challenge is a singular one and must begin from a philosophical position that disputes that only death results from non-territory—from the unruly seas or the cold air. Article 33 promised to be a source from which to confront our bio-political existence. It has not yet been captured within the logic of territorial immanence and so may yet do so.
Refugees, Nations, Laws and the Territorialization of Volence, in Tuitt and Fitzpatrick (eds) Critical Beings: Law, Nation and the Global Legal Subject, Ashgate 2003
This chapter concerns the ways in which the refugee is symbolised in contemporary political theory. Although the figure of the refugee is used to characterise many facets of the human condition, I am particularly concerned with those works that present the refugee as exemplifying “rightlessness” (per Arendt) or “bare life” ( per Agamben). Whilst I would not dispute that when compared to the citizens of the nation-state the refugee appears “rightless”, I am concerned that the refugee category has become complicit in a process in which other forms of state violence are masked or downplayed.
Rethinking the Refugee Concept, in Frances Nicholson and Patrick Twomey, Refugee Rights and Realities: Evolving International Concepts and Regimes, Cambridge University Press, 1999
When few victims of internal conflict, natural disaster, or severe economic decline are able to secure asylum, and with the growing recognition that asylum itself favours particular disenfranchised groups, it is worth pausing to reflect on how and why such a problematic concept as displacement has come to acquire such prominence in marking out victims of human rights abuses. It is problematic not least because displacement assumes space to be infinitely present.
An Immigration Offence, in Cohen, Philip, New Ethnicities, Old Racisms, Zed Books, 1999
To come to a state to seek asylum is to come to a state of nature. The denial of self, of personality, culture, context, time and space characterises the relative roles of the asylum-seeker and host state official as they develop in the forced and intimate atmosphere within which an immigration offence is investigated. This is a relationship in which one stands as the blank page and the other as the scribe.
Defining the Refugee by Race: The European Response to New Asylum-seekers, in Ireland and Lelang, The Critical Lawyers’ Handbook
2, Pluto 1997, 96-107
The assumption behind scholarly writing on refugees is that the racial construction of the refugee definition is of recent origin. This chapter demonstrates that there has always been a strong, but unspoken, dimension of race within ideas of refugee protection. Had there been no challenge to the assumption that refugee protection was fundamentally geared to European refugees, this silence would have remained. Once challenged, the question of how protection should be distributed between refugees has been superseded by the less humane question of how much racial diversity Western states are prepared to permit.
Human Rights and Refugees, vol 1(2) 1997, International Journal of
Human Rights, 66-80
If neither the present system of refugee laws nor the broader human rights regime provides an adequate avenue of protection for the majority of the World’s refugees, what then is the solution? Ironically, there was little space in this essay to emphasise what really matters: that structures can change; and change radically.
The Hostile Environment on Trial (9. 1. 2020).
A short commentary in advanced of the Court of Appeal hearing of the UK government's challenge to the High Court ruling on 1 March 2019 in the so-called "right to rent" case.
The Citizenship Lottery. A Review of Moritz Jesse (ed.), European Societies, Migration, and the Law: The ‘Others’ amongst ‘Us’, Cambridge University Press, 2021. 433 pp. £27.99 (PB). ISBN: 978-1-108-72079-3
What are the fundamental distinctions or markers of difference that enable individuals or groups to be placed inside or outside - or in an ambivalent place in-between - a community and its legal order? In the not too distant past we might have concluded that the various boundaries which are erected and closures that are enforced are essentially a product of the distinction between the ‘citizen’ and ‘non-citizen’. However, in recent years - during which, among other things, the stability of the citizenship category has been undermined by actions of States - the idea that ‘the fundamental form of the inside/outside distinction’ (Lindahl 2014: 42) can be represented in the opposition between a ‘national’ and ‘non-national’ has increasingly been subjected to critical scrutiny. European Societies, Migration, and the Law: The ‘Others’ amongst ‘Us’ is a volume of essays which sits within this more recent orientation in migration and citizenship studies.
Refugee Law and the Decolonial Paradigm. A Review of Satvinder Juss (ed.), Research Handbook on International Refugee Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021. 448 pp. £36 (PB). ISBN: 978-1-80088-605-6
This review draws on the various contributions to the volume in order to advance the argument that only a decolonial turn in refugee law scholarship and practice would be able to counteract the increasingly violent manifestations of the current human rights paradigm.
Lockdowns and Migrant Solidarity A Review of Ibrahim Serkeci and Jeffrey H. Cohen (eds.), Covid-19 & Migration: Understanding the Pandemic and Human Mobility, Transnational Press London, 2020. 203 pp. £24.50 (PB). ISBN: 978-1-912997-59-6
In this review, I reflect on the profound challenges to practices of migrant solidarity, and anti-racist activism more generally, which have been presented by the limitations on human mobility (lockdowns) that many states have imposed as part of a number of measures designed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
Ordinary People in Humanitarian Emergencies. A Review of Kate Pincock, Alexander Betts and Evan Easton-Calabria, The Global Governed? Refugees as Providers of Protection and Assistance, Cambridge University Press, 2020. 154 pp. £29.99 (PB). ISBN: 978-1-10881-6700.
This is a timely publication which draws on empirical case studies to explore the consequences to populations made vulnerable as a result of humanitarian emergencies of the “...presumption that a community cannot self-govern…” (Pincock, Betts and Easton-Calabria 2020, p. 21) in such times.
Unjust Laws and Legal Education. A Review of Amelia Gentleman, The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment, Guardian Faber, 2019. 320 pp. £18.99 (HB). ISBN: 978-1-78335-184-8.
This review argues that the coming into force of the Immigration Acts of 2014 and 2016 has fundamentally altered the terms on which UK law schools are able to explore the old jurisprudential question of obedience to unjust but valid laws.
Precarious Citizenship. A Review of Michelle Foster and Helene Lambert, International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons, Oxford University Press, 2019. 254 pp. £70.00 (HB). ISBN: 978-0-19-879601-5.
This review examines the extent to which descendants of the Windrush generation (who were deported or denied access to healthcare/jobs and housing),, and Shamima Begum (who was stripped of her British citizenship,), are protected by international laws governing stateless refugees.
R (On the application of Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 452 (Admin).
This is an analysis of the High Court’s decision to the effect that sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014 (UK) contravene the right, secured under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to seek to attain a home. The case note focuses on the fact that, in a rare instance, the High Court judgement recognises that racism is injurious to perpetrators as well as victims.
A Well-Founded Fear of the Law. A Review of Lisa Heschl, Protecting Refugees Beyond European Borders: Establishing Extraterritorial Responsibilities, Intersentia, 2018. 255 pp. £75.00 (HB). ISBN: 978-1-78068-614-1.
This review examines the ways in which EU member states seek to prevent refugees, who wish to bring a claim for refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention, from reaching their shores. It argues that international law provides adequate protection for such refugees, and advocates that more financial support should be directed to advocacy groups who have the expertise to bring legal cases on behalf of refugees before the Court of Justice of the European Union and/or the European Court of Human Rights.