The RLI annual conference serves 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.

It also reflects our success in acting as a global platform for furthering research, dissemination and legal and policy impact in the refugee law field.



6th RLI Annual Conference
29 June - 1 July 2022

Run as a virtual event over three half-days, the 6th RLI Annual Conference is dedicated to debating the latest research and developments in our field. It builds on the success of our previous conferences in uniting academics, practitioners, policy-makers and students.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speakers for this year's conference are:

  • Professor Alex Aleinikoff, Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility
  • Sana Mustafa, Director of Partnerships and Engagement at Asylum Access
  • Professor Jane McAdam, Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law


1. Thematic Panels: ‘Improving the Global Refugee Regime: From Theory to Practice?’

Some speakers at the 5th RLI annual conference argued that the global refugee regime needs changing. Such proposals open topical debate around how a reconfigured refugee regime might look (e.g. new burden-sharing arrangements, a global oversight mechanism etc.). Yet they also raise difficult questions about the desirability and feasibility of such change.

At this year’s 6th annual conference, the RLI challenges the refugee law/protection field to take this debate head on. Broad topics addressed this year include:

  • Does the regime need to change? If so, why does the regime need to change? Are existing processes of change, such as the Global Compact on Refugees, sufficient?
  • What needs to be changed? We are keen on focused and detailed proposals of what to change, supported by evidence, rather than simply generic prescriptions.
  • Where does the change need to happen? Within the refugee regime or in the wider structures around it? In which regions or institutions? At what levels?
  • Who should be responsible for change? What role might governments, international organisations and agencies, civil society and refugees play in promoting change?
  • How do we get from here to there? A key question. Lofty aspirations are important, but set against the reality of refugee responses and global politics what is feasible?

2. Open Panels: Any topic relevant to the RLI

Our open panels address ANY topic of law, policy and practice concerning refugees, IDPs, stateless persons or forced migrants. They offer an open platform for a broader range of high-quality research in this field. These panels engage with law, policy or practice at the international, regional, national or local levels and in a range of countries or regions.


3. Draft Programme

Please view the draft programme for the conference here.

4. Registration

All attendees, including presenters, will need to register (for free) for the conference. Conference registration is available through this link.


Previous Annual Conferences

In 2021 we held our 5th Annual Conference‘Ageing Gracefully? The 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’ [online] on 9-11 June, which reflected on the enduring legacy of the ‘cornerstone’ treaty for refugee protection 70 years after it was first adopted. 

In 2019 we held our 4th Annual Conference, ‘Rethinking the “Regional” in Refugee Law and Policy’ on 3-5 June, which reflected on how a host of ‘regional’ questions loom large for refugee protection in 2019.

In 2018 we held our 3rd Annual Conference 'Refugee Protection in a Hostile World?', which took place from 18-19 July 2018. It was followed by a Special Workshop on 'Revitalising IDP Research' on 20 July at the Senate House of the University of London.

The year before we held our 2nd Annual ConferenceMass Influx? Law, Policy and Large-Scale Movements of Refugees and Migrants’, which took place from Monday 5 June to Wednesday 7 June 2017 at the Senate House of the University of London.

Click for the full programme and a selection of the presentations from the 1st Annual Conference ‘The Future of Refugee Law?’ which was held at the RLI, Senate House, University of London, 29 June -1 July 2016.