RLI / LCIL Workshop: Complicity and Exclusion from Asylum

Wednesday 7 February 2018

‘Complicity and Exclusion from Asylum’
The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) workshop, sponsored by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI)

Friday 29 June 2018, 9am - 5.30pm

The aim of the workshop is to engage in a thorough discussion of this topic through a number of papers selected on the basis of this call for abstracts.

The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees provides in Article 1F that the Convention does not apply to ‘any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that’ the person has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, a crime against humanity; has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to admission as a refugee or has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. But what does it mean to have ‘committed’ or to have been ‘guilty’ of acts?

This workshop examines how the notion of ‘complicity’ has been understood in the interpretation and application of international refugee law and how this compares with the understanding of ‘complicity’ in international criminal law, international humanitarian law and public international law more generally. It will also engage with concerns that have emerged with respect to complicity and exclusion from refugee protection.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts on this topic are invited. Among the specific questions to be addressed could be: 

  • What has been, and should be, the evidentiary basis for a finding of complicity under Article 1F of the 1951 Convention? 
  • What has been, and should be, the international standard for the legal test of ‘serious reasons for considering’ under Article 1F? 
  • Is there an internationally agreed upon standard of proof for a refugee applicant to be excluded from refugee protection on the ground of being complicit in serious international crimes, serious non-political crimes, or for being guilty of actions contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN? What is it? What should it be? 
  • What is the lower threshold for what constitutes complicity in the commission of serious international crimes for the purposes of exclusion from refugee protection? How does it compare to the threshold of complicity in other areas of international law? 
  • What are the obstacles to prosecuting people who have been excluded from refugee status on the ground of being complicit in serious international crimes?
Submission of abstracts:  

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words, including the title, author name and institutional affiliation. They should be accompanied by a biography of no more than 100 words. 

Abstracts should be sent to James C. Simeon (jcs206@cam.ac.uk) no later than Friday 30 March 2018.

Registration for the workshop 

All those interested in attending the workshop, including those who have been selected to present, can register online at: https://onlinesales.admin.cam.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/lauterpacht-centre-for-international-law/workshop-on-complicity-and-exclusion-from-asylum/workshop-on-complicity-and-exclusion-from-asylum

Registration fee: £20 (full) / £15 (for current students). Includes coffee breaks and sandwich lunch.


Queries regarding the workshop and abstract submission should be addressed to James C. Simeon (jcs206@cam.ac.uk). 
Queries regarding registration should be addressed to Anita Rutherford (ar293@cam.ac.uk).

Participants, including presenters, are responsible for making their own visa, travel and accommodation arrangements.