The UN's 'Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework': Actually a 'Contingent Refugee Assistance Project'

The UN's 'Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework': Actually a 'Contingent Refugee Assistance Project'
21 May 2018, 6.00pm - 7.30pm
IALS Council Chamber, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

The International Refugee Law Seminar Series, sponsored by the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, provides a public space for discussion, promotion and dissemination of research between academics, practitioners, students and others with an interest in the refugee and forced migration field.

8th International Refugee Law Seminar Series: ‘Refugee Law in the New World Disorder’

Following the 9/11 attacks on the USA, James Hathaway and Colin Harvey questioned ‘Refugee Protection in the New World Disorder’. Some 15 years later we return to this topic in light of new threats to global order through a series of lectures that investigate key challenges for refugee law today.

The UN's 'Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework': Actually a 'Contingent Refugee Assistance Project'


How ought we really to respond to the crisis in refugee protection? The reality today is a world of desperate refugees risking their lives in order to save them; of just ten — mostly poor — countries protecting more than half of the world’s refugees; and of more than 12 million refugees languishing in protracted refugee situations. Surely this is a scenario that calls for dramatic and decisive action.

Yet the UNHCR’s draft "Global Refugee Compact" and accompanying "Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework" propose only a voluntarist framework for negotiating situation-specific relief.

In this talk, Professor Hathaway offers a bold vision for a meaningful reform of refugee protection that speaks to the needs of refugees, and of the states that receive them.


James C. Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law, is a leading authority on international refugee law whose work is regularly cited by the most senior courts of the common law world. He is the founding director of Michigan Law's Program in Refugee and Asylum Law and the Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam. He regularly provides training on refugee law to academic, non-governmental, and official audiences around the world. 

Professor Hathaway's publications include The Law of Refugee Status (2014), with Michelle Foster;Transnational Law: Cases and Materials (2013), with Mathias Reimann, Timothy Dickinson, and Joel Samuels;Human Rights and Refugee Law (2013); The Rights of Refugees Under International Law (2005); Reconceiving International Refugee Law (1997); and more than 80 journal articles. He is founding patron and senior adviser to Asylum Access, a nonprofit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South, and counsel on international protection to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Professor Hathaway sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Refugee Studies, the Immigration and Nationality Law Reports, and

* Light refreshments provided after the seminar.


Refugee Law Initiative
020 7862 8668