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International Law's Objects$
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Jessie Hohmann and Daniel Joyce

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798200.001.0001

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Refugee Chains

Refugee Chains

Chapter:
(p.399) 28 Refugee Chains
Source:
International Law's Objects
Author(s):

Alison Kesby

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198798200.003.0034

This chapter uses the object and concept of a chain to examine international refugee law which is shown to be a chain of shifting hue and state of repair. At certain points along its length its interwoven links of gold retain the echo of their humanitarian ideal, and at others its gaps and corrosion come into view, jar, and unsettle. Seen in one light, we see international refugee law as a prized area of international law: the means by which some of the world’s most vulnerable may obtain a recognized legal status and associated rights. In another, its weaknesses become all too apparent, whether the discrepancy between states’ international obligations and their implementation thereof (eg non-refoulement) or the constraints and limits of the Refugee Convention. Issues discussed include the stasis and dynamism of the law, gaps in protection, and ‘burden sharing’ among states.

Keywords:   chain, international refugee law, Refugee Convention, non-refoulement, burden sharing, status, humanitarian ideal, rights, implementation

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