‘Ageing Gracefully? The 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’

5th Annual Conference, Refugee Law Initiative (RLI)
9 - 11 June 2021 


The Refugee Law Initiative Conference is an annual international forum dedicated to debating the latest research and developments in the field. Run this year as a virtual event over three (3) half-days, the 5th RLI Annual Conference builds on the success of previous RLI conferences in uniting refugee law academics, practitioners, policy-makers and students.

1. Thematic Panels: ‘Reviewing the 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’

Proposals for ‘thematic’ panels should directly address this year’s special theme. Possible topics for paper or panel submissions include (but are not limited to):

  • Framing, interpreting and understanding the Refugee Convention
  • The Refugee Convention and its relationship to other bodies of international law 
  • Implementing the Refugee Convention in national law, policy  and practice
  • The Refugee Convention and emerging global refugee policy (e.g. Global Compacts)
  • Institutional engagement with the Convention - UNHCR, courts, governments, NGOs
  • Applying the Refugee Convention - procedural issues, mass influx etc.
  • Refugee law practice and practitioners – litigating the Refugee Convention
  • Content of asylum and the rights under the Refugee Convention
  • Externalisation, responsibility-sharing/-shifting under the Refugee Convention
  • Refugee perspectives on the Refugee Convention and its operation and legacy
  • History-based perspectives on the Refugee Convention 
  • Contemporary concerns and the Convention (climate change, armed conflicts, organised crime, anti-migrant populism, pandemics like COVID-19, IDPs etc.)


2. Open Panels: A Broader Range of RLI Topics

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. Proposals to these panels can engage with law, policy or practice at the international, regional, national or local levels and in any country or region.

3. Proposals: Papers and Panels

Please send all paper and panel proposals (of 3-4 papers maximum) for ‘thematic’ and ‘open’ panels to rliconference2021@sas.ac.uk. We welcome proposals from researchers at any stage in their careers and, particularly, from researchers working in or on refugee protection in the global South. The deadline for proposals is Wednesday 31 March 2021

Proposals for papers, whether part of a panel proposal or not, should be PDF attachments of max. 300 words. The subject line of your email must state whether your proposal is for a single paper or a panel and for the ‘thematic’ or ‘open’ panels. Proposals will be selected by the committee based on quality, relevance, and coherence with other submissions.

4. Registration

All attendees, including presenters, will need to register (for free) for the conference. Conference registration will open from Monday 19 April 2021 via www.rli.sas.ac.uk.