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Law in Context

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

Political Transitions and the Cessation of Refugee Status: Some Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq

William Maley AM, BEc LLB MA (ANU), PhD (UNSW), is Professor and Foundation Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. He is author of The Afghanistan Wars (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); edited Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban (New York University Press, 1998, 2001); and co-edited From Civil Strife to Civil Society: Civil and Military Responsibilities in Disrupted States (United Nations University Press, 2003).

Cessation of refugee status is anticipated by the specific provisions of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and has received detailed attention from UNHCR and its Executive Committee. Where severe state disruption has occurred, it is optimistic to hope that democratic consolidation can be rapidly procured, even in the aftermath of major external interventions. The cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries from which large refugee outflows occurred in the 1990s, demonstrate how difficult it is to bring about conditions in which the safety of returnees can be ensured. As a result, the case for approaching cessation conservatively is a strong one.

(2005) Volume 22 No 2 Law in Context 156

   
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