‘Ageing Gracefully? The 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’

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

The 5th Annual Conference of the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) will take place from Wednesday 9 June to Friday 11 June 2021. The RLI Annual Conference is an annual international forum dedicated to debating the latest research and developments in the field. 

The 5th RLI Annual Conference builds on the success of previous RLI conferences in uniting refugee law academics, practitioners, policy-makers and students. Run this year as a virtual event over three (3) half-days, this Annual Conference is based on the principle of free and open access online to allow for truly global participation.

View the conference programme here.

1. 2021 Conference Theme

The chosen theme for this year’s conference - ‘Ageing Gracefully? The 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’ – reflects on the enduring legacy of the ‘cornerstone’ treaty for refugee protection 70 years after it was first adopted. 

2. 2021 Keynote Speakers

On this theme, we are pleased to announce that our keynote speakers for the event are:

“Is 'Ageing Gracefully?’ an Ageist Critique?”
Professor James C. Hathaway, James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law
University of Michigan, USA

“The 1951 Convention at 70: A Postcolonial Perspective”
Professor B.S. Chimni, Distinguished Professor of International Law
O.O. Jindal Global University, India

“States and the Refugee Convention: Circumventing, but not Blatantly Disregarding”
Professor Fatima Khan, Director of the Refugee Rights Unit
University of Cape Town, South Africa

3. 2021 Panel Sessions

Across the three half-days, a fantastic range of current research will be presented across a total of 18 panel slots. The majority of panels address a range of topics relevant to the chosen theme of this year’s conference, including:

  • 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
  • Contemporary concerns and the Convention

Other ‘open’ panels gather presentations on a wide range of other themes of contemporary interest to law and policy on the protection of refugees and other displaced persons

4. Registration 

All attendees, including presenters, will need to register for the conference. This year, registration at the conference is free of charge.

Registration is available now through this link.