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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 22 No 2 (2005) Nationality, Refugee Status and State Protection

What We Have Done with the Refugee Convention: The Australian Way

Susan Kneebone, LLB (Adelaide), MA (Hong Kong), DipEd (Melb), PhD (Monash), is an Associate Professor at the Law Faculty Monash University where she teaches Citizenship and Migration Law and International Refugee Law and Practice. She has published many articles on refugee law and practice, and is editor of The Refugees Convention 50 Years On: Globalisation and International Law (Ashgate, 2003). She is currently working on a large research project on comparative procedures for refugee status determination.

This article argues that because the of the way in which the Australian government has chosen to incorporate its obligations to asylum seekers under the Refugee Convention into national legislation, the scope for judges to enforce international human rights is precarious. This point is illustrated by focusing upon two concepts which are fundamental to refugee protection. First, there is the basic non-refoulement principle against returning a refugee to a place where he or she would be persecuted. The second is the concept of ‘persecution’ in the refugee definition in art 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention.

(2005) Volume 22 No 2 Law in Context 83

   
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