You Have to Be Stronger than Razor Wire: Legal Issues Relating to the Detention of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Mary Elizabeth Crock
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
June 19, 2009
Australian Journal of Administrative Law, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 33-63, 2002
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/56
This article explores the international legal principles that do or should determine state practice in detaining refugees and asylum seekers. The issues fall into two broad categories: the circumstances in which it is permissible to detain; and the treatment and entitlements of detainees. The author examines both relevant international standards and the way in which key authorities would like state parties to interpret those standards. She identifies some common themes that have emerged from national jurisprudence on detention, arguing that it is possible to discern patterns in the law and practice based on the extent to which states have codified a rights regime for refugees. While acknowledging the indeterminacy of language, she exhorts refugee adjudicators to draw upon the framework provided by international law when construing domestic legislation.
Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, detention, rights, international law
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Date posted: June 22, 2009
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