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School of Law

Access to International Protection and the Externalisation of Asylum

When: Monday, May 16, 2022, 9:00 AM -
Where: Online,

The (B)OrderS: Centre for the Legal Study of Borders and Migration at Queen Mary University of London, the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School of Governance, iCourts: The Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen, and QMUCU: the University and College Union Queen Mary branch, invite you to a joint workshop on Access to International Protection and the Externalisation of Asylum, as part of a series of regional and thematic launches of The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law (OUP, 2021) and QMUCU initiatives during the local strike period.

This event brings together select contributors to the Handbook and leading scholars for a discussion on a key challenge in international refugee law. It will highlight the obstacles faced by refugees globally in obtaining access to asylum and the ways in which the multiple forms of extraterritorial migration control continue to render access to protection increasingly more dangerous. Speakers will explore State practices that prize extraterritorial migration control and deterrence over refugee protection in different national and regional contexts. The discussion will chart international refugee law’s response to these practices and its role in resisting such policies against the normalisation of hostility vis-à-vis asylum seekers in public discourse and public spaces more broadly.

The event will feature input from two Handbook contributors: Professor Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen (‘Extraterritorial Migration Control and Deterrence’ co-authored with Dr Nikolas Feith Tan) and Professor Violeta Moreno-Lax (‘Protection at Sea and the Denial of Asylum’), followed by responses from three leading experts in the field: Dr Daniel Ghezelbash (Macquarie University), Dr Alice Nah (University of York), and Dr Benjamin Ng’aru (East African Centre for Forced Migration and Displacement). Professor Cathryn Costello (Hertie Centre for Fundamental Rights and co-editor) and Dr Ruth Fletcher (QMUCU) will moderate the discussion.

About the book

The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, edited by Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster and Jane McAdam is a comprehensive, critical work, which analyses the state of research across the international protection regime as a whole. Drawing together leading and emerging scholars, the Handbook provides both doctrinal and theoretical analyses of international refugee law and practice. Contributions assess a wide range of international legal instruments relevant to refugee protection, including from international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international migration law, the law of the sea, and international and transnational criminal law. Geographically, contributors examine regional and domestic laws and practices from around the world. Many authors work directly in the field, and their contributions demonstrate how scholarship and practice can mutually inform each other. The Handbook evaluates existing law from a variety of normative positions, with several chapters identifying foundational flaws that open up space for radical rethinking, providing an account, as well as a critique, of the status quo, and setting the agenda for future academic research in international refugee law.

About the speakers

Contributors to the Handbook


  • Dr Daniel Ghezelbash (Associate Professor, Macquarie Law School)
  • Dr Alice Nah (Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York)
  • Dr Benjamin Ng’aru (Senior Regional Forced Migration Officer, East African Centre for Forced Migration and Displacement)


  • Professor Cathryn Costello (Handbook co-editor, Professor of Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights)
  • Dr Ruth Fletcher (Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary Law School and QMUCU Representative)

**Please note this is an online event and joining details will be sent the day before.

About the organisers

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