Improving the Global Refugee Regime: From Theory to Practice

Organised as a virtual event over three half-days from 29 June to 1 July 2022, the 6th RLI Annual Conference was dedicated to debating the latest research and developments in our field. It built on the success of our previous conferences in uniting academics, practitioners, policy-makers and students.

The keynote speakers for the conference were:

  • 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

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 the 6th annual conference, the RLI challenged the refugee law/protection field to take this debate head on. Broad topics addressed this year included:

  • 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?

Open Panels: Any topic relevant to the RLI

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


For a full list of the presentations, please see here.


Please view the programme for the conference here.