Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM099: International Refugee Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

Students enrolled in this module will undertake a detailed study of the regime for the protection of refugees, displaced persons and other ‘forced migrants’ under international law.  You will be introduced to the breadth of legal instruments relevant to the protection of forced migrants and will develop a critical understanding of their role and operation.  Through a series of presentations and exercises you will develop a critical understanding of the operation of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees.  You will be encouraged to reflect on the limits to the protections found in the 1951 Convention and the manner in which these can be supplemented by regional and international human rights norms.  You will develop a thorough understanding of the interaction between the 1951 Convention and regional and human rights norms, including the case-law of key domestic and international courts, and their respective roles in the protection of the forcibly displaced.  By the conclusion of this module you should be able to critically evaluate the key legal protection threats facing individuals in situations of forced displacement and to effectively, accurately and creatively apply relevant international legal norms to facilitate their protection.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of the evolution of the international legal regime for the protection of relevant forced migrants;
2. Critically evaluate the key rationales underlying the legal responses of the international community to the varied problems of forced migration;
3. Demonstrate a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the principles and standards of protection for the forced migrants at international refugee, human rights and general public international law, including EU and Council of Europe
4. Critically evaluate the continuing relevance of post-WWII responses to contemporary forced migration in which globalisation, identity-based conflicts and changing perceptions of security, identity and mobility are central;
Discipline-Specific Skills5. Critically and systematically evaluate the key legal issues arising in the area of international and European refugee law and, in particular, the practical challenges to the effective implementation of the legal protection regime relevant to forced migrants;
6. Demonstrate the ability to rigorously and creatively analyse key issues in the area of contemporary refugee and forced migration law and policy while effectively using a wide array of relevant legal materials including case-law, academic commentary and treaty-based sources
7. Construct and analyse complex legal arguments using both primary and secondary sources of law and present these coherently and reflectively both orally and in writing;
Personal and Key Skills8. Demonstrate ability to work independently, including the efficient manage of study/work time, to prepare for each seminar including the preparation of clear and reflective presentations and seminar papers on specified topics in public international and international refugee law;
9. Demonstrate ability to work effectively as part of a team/small group, including the fair and cooperative distribution of tasks and the coordination of shared work and outputs;
10. Identify, retrieve and utilise a wide range of primary and secondary legal sources using print-based and electronic databases/resources;
11. Demonstrate ability to Identify, organise and critically evaluate legal materials in order to produce coherent and well-researched legal arguments within strict timelines.