School of Law

SOLM172 International Migration Law (Sem 1)

Module Description

This module examines the regulation in international law of human mobility for economic and other purposes (excluding refuge and forced migration which is studied in depth in QLLM176).

It provides a comprehensive overview of the concepts and workings of several specialized branches of international law in relation to migration in a global context. The module will look at international labour law, international human rights law, international security and anti-terrorism instruments, and nationality, borders and statelessness measures to provide a comprehensive overview of the different regimes concerned with the regulation of the phenomenon.

The module will start by studying the historical origins and development of international legal  tools to regulate human mobility across borders, with a discussion of the available regulatory options and their ethical/philosophical underpinnings (ranging from the 'open borders' formula to 'communitarian' perspectives). The different regimes, actors and institutions playing a role in the legal administration of international migration will be examined next, with particular focus on key inter-governmental institutions (such as the ILO and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants) and non-governmental actors (such as IOM and ICMPD) as norms entrepreneurs in this area. The study of substantive law, including relevant State practice and case law of national and international courts and Treaty bodies, will follow thereafter, following four thematic blocs: 1) labour migration, with particular focus on ILO conventions and the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; 2) family migration and children on the move; 3) terrorism and the securitisation of migration post 9/11; and 4) irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, with special reference to the 2000 Palermo Protocols to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Applicable Groupings

  • LLM in Human Rights Law 
  • LLM in Public International Law
  • LLM in Immigration Law

Mode of Assessment

2.15 hour examination


15 Credits