Immigrants and Refugees in EU (LAWM635)

Staff - Convenor
Credit Value15
Academic Year2013/4
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesCompletion of LAWM672 or the approval of the module co-ordinator approval
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To undertake a detailed study of the issues facing and protections available to refugees, displaced persons and other forced migrants' under international law. An initial overview will determine the contemporary context of forced international migration before embarking on an analysis of the varying legal protections afforded to migrants, including specific treaty and general human rights based protections, specifically focusing on the regional protection regime within the EU. This assessment focuses on the relevant legal instruments, European Court of Human Right case law and other secondary resources to critically determine the effectiveness of this body of law.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and analyse the evolution of the international protection regime available to migrants and explain the rationales underlying the legal responses of the international community to the varied problems of forced migration.
  • 2. Knowledge of the basic principles and standards of protection found in refugee, human rights and international law generally.
  • 3. Critically evaluate the relevance of post WWII responses to the post-millennium context in which globalisation, identity based conflicts, changing perceptions of security and mobility are central.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Ability to identify key legal issues arising in this area as well as practical problems generated by a particular instrument.
  • 5. Capacity to handle primary sources of law and secondary sources of literature.
  • 6. Ability to address contemporary issues of migration law and policy with reference to an array of material.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Ability to engage in independent and group research, including presentation in written and oral form for group discussion.
  • 8. Ability to research, study, identify and organise material in order to produce arguments that are coherent and complex while complying with strict timelines.

Syllabus plan

Seminar 1:The European Context Relating to Forced Migration: Distinguishing the Regional From the International

Seminar 2: Protection Under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Seminar 3: European Union Qualifications Directive - Minimum Standards of Protection

Seminar 4: Forced Migration In The Post 9/11 Framework

Seminar 5: Surpassing or Trailing International Law in the Protection of Forced Migrants

The main teaching method will be by group and independent research on a research project that pertains to one specific area of European migration law. Following an introductory and teacher led seminar students undertake a group case study on the implementation of an aspect of EU migration law. The results of this study are presented to the group for consideration and tutor feedback. Students then undertake research on the same question but as a discrete case study. There will be an opportunity to meet as a group and discuss the project's progress before the final presentations. The basis of this research will be used in the assessed course component.


Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
15 135 0

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities15 hours5 x 3 hour seminars
Guided independent study135 hoursIndependent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar essay, forming the basis of a presentation to the groupup to 5,000 words with accompanying powerpoint presentation1-8Written and or verbal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1003,750 words1-8Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (3,750 words)1-8August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Goodwin-Gill The Refugee in International Law (2007) Hathaway The Law of Refugee Status (1991)

Lambert The Position of Aliens in Relation to the European Convention on Human Rights (2006)

 A specific reading list will be distributed for each seminar is included as part of the module handbook made available to students in advance of the module.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

CALS Asylum Case Research:

Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva Convention):

European Commission, Directorate Freedom, Security and Justice:

European Council on Refugees and Exiles:

Forced Migration Online:

Migrant’s Rights Network:

The Michigan-Melbourne Refugee Caselaw Site:

The Refugee Law Reader:

Refugee Council UK:

Refugee Law Research Guide:


UNHCR RefWorld:

World Refugee Survey:

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Immigrants Refugees EU Legal Law Court Human Rights