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School of Law

Ceren Mutus Toprakseven


PhD Student



Thesis Title

Shared Responsibility in the context of Extraterritorialised/Privatised Migration Controls


Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas and Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax

Summary of Research

Recent decades have witnessed a proliferation of policy developments in the fields of migration and asylum, which aim to curb irregular migration towards EU countries and diffuse responsibility for possible human rights violations to third countries and private actors. This phenomenon, referred to, inter alia, as ‘offshoring and outsourcing of migration control’ takes a variety of forms including visa requirements, carrier sanctions, providing financial incentives to third countries, posting immigration liaison officers, and undertaking joint patrols on the sea.

The question of responsibility allocation in the context of these measures is important and topical because the plurality factor present in such situations makes it difficult to determine and implement international responsibility. Although international law incorporates some legal tools that have the potential to address questions of shared responsibility, it is argued that they fall short of providing tailored solutions for cases of joint and cumulative types of shared responsibility, where due to the indivisible nature of the harm, it is difficult to assign responsibility to individual contributors. Ceren’s research aims to identify limits and challenges, if any, imposed by prevailing principles and establish to what extent the principle of joint (and several) responsibility can be applied to extraterritorial/ privatised migration controls.


After receiving her Bachelor Degree in Law from Koc University in 2008, Ceren started to work as a legal researcher at International Strategic Research Organisation (USAK), Center for European Union Studies. During eight years of experience as a researcher and editor at USAK, she was involved in various projects, contributed a book chapter and wrote many articles and op-eds in the field of public international law, particularly in international human rights law and EU law.

In the academic year 2011-2012, she did her LLM in Public International Law at King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law as a British Council Chevening Scholar. Her dissertation which was rewarded with distinction, scrutinised the legal impacts of European readmission agreements on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. In Spring 2015, Ceren attended a training programme at the Council of Europe, Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law. In September 2015, she joined the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as a PhD candidate and she was awarded with Queen Mary University of London Research Studentship. Ceren is also a registered lawyer at Istanbul Bar Association.


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