This year the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) hosted its first annual conference on international refugee law.

The chosen theme for this year’s international conference, ‘The Future of Refugee Law?’, points to the renewed challenges refugee protection faces on the ground in a number of regions across the globe, not least as a result of humanitarian crises such as Syria, and the innovative new directions refugee law doctrine is moving as the discipline reflects on its relationship to the wider field of international law.

The conference also marks the RLI’s fifth anniversary and reflects our success in acting as a global platform for furthering research, dissemination and legal and policy impact in the refugee law field. The three day event, hosted at Senate House from 29th June - 1st July 2016, brought together 150 participants from across the globe from governments, courts, NGOs, international organisations and agencies, legal practice and academia, to debate and exchange ideas on the protection of forced migrants and stateless persons.

The full programme can be found here.

In addition to over 60 papers presented, the RLI was pleased to welcome a number of distinguished keynote speakers to the conference. These included Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, Emeritus Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Oxford, Professor Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, and Eleanor Sharpstone QC, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union, among others.

A selection of presentation slides of papers that were presented at the three day conference are available here.

The RLI was also pleased to welcome a number of students from its distance-learning MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies. Delivered through the University of London International Programmes, the MA in Refugee Protection is currently the largest programme on forced migration in the world. Full details of the MA programme (and how to apply) can be found here.

These students and others presented their research in a special poster session attached to the conference, with prizes generously donated by Brill, the publishers of the RLI’s International Refugee Law Book Series.

A selection of the poster presentations are available here.

RLI 1st Annual Conference - Poster Presentations

The RLI annual conference is set to continue each year and serve as a dedicated forum for bringing together decision-makers and practitioners, policy-makers, academics and students to share, discover and debate the latest thinking and developments in the refugee protection field. Join our mailing list by emailing Nicholas.maple@sas.ac.uk for our newsletter and news of how to gain early bird booking for next year!

* With thanks to support from the John Coffin Trust and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.