The Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) is a unique academic centre promoting interdisciplinary research, teaching and exchange on law, policy and practice in refugee and displacement contexts.

Established in 2010 at the School of Advanced Study of the University of London, the RLI works in the UK and internationally to promote new research and facilitate practical impact in this field.

You can view the structure of the RLI here.

Priority activities for the RLI

The four priority activities for the RLI are:

1. Research and Consultancy

Innovative research projects by RLI academic staff and affiliates shape national and international research agendas on refugee law, policy and practice. The RLI is also the only academic institution in the world currently hosting a dedicated research programme on internal displacement.

The RLI provides high-impact policy-relevant research and guidance via our consultancy capacity. This builds on our world-class expertise in the refugee and displacement field, our charitable mission and independent status as a university institution and our unparalleled networks in this field.

2. Networking and collaboration

The RLI facilitates research through our extensive senior associate and research affiliate networks that facilitate interaction and opportunities for over 300 experts across the globe; and via thematic RLI working groups. Visiting Fellows are also hosted regularly at our university premises in London.

RLI directly supports research in under-served themes and regions through our institutional support for research networks in countries affected by internal displacement. We regularly partner for research with other universities, governments, international agencies and civil society.

3. Dissemination and impact

We support publication in the refugee field through an accessible range of platforms, including the RLI book series on refugee law, the RLI working paper series, the RLI blog, the Researching Internal Displacement site, and RLI newsletter. We also publish event reports and podcasts.

RLI thematic expertise is channelled through RLI Declarations on International Protection. We help disseminate research, promote academic exchange and facilitate practitioner engagement through the RLI annual conference, as well as a range of seminar series and other ad hoc events.

4. Teaching and practice

Our accessible MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies supports the development of the field, alongside our open-access popular short courses on refugees and internal displacement. We facilitate high-quality research through specialist postgraduate training on refugee research.

The Refugee Law Clinic provides practical clinical legal education through pro bono representation of marginalised appeals rights-exhausted asylum seekers in London. The RLI also provides practical training by invitation for governments, international organisations and civil society.