Refugeeship and Natural Law: The European Court of Human Rights

39 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2014 Last revised: 14 Aug 2015

See all articles by Isaac Kfir

Isaac Kfir

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Date Written: June 9, 2015


The contemporary international refugee system was the product of a desire to provide protection and assistance to those who have a well-founded fear of persecution, a somewhat sophistic term in the twenty-first century. Increasingly, however, the system is being challenged by states seeking to reduce refugee applications by adhering to a restrictive interpretation of their Refugee Convention obligations. Underscoring the link between natural law, human rights and refugee law, the paper shows how the European Court of Human Rights has become an important actor in preserving the rights of those seeking refuge within the Council of Europe’s jurisdiction. The article thus seeks to encourage further research on the role of legal theory in the refugee regime as well as on how regional courts can help challenge state power in an era of globalization.

Keywords: Refugee Law, Natural Law, European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Kfir, Isaac, Refugeeship and Natural Law: The European Court of Human Rights (June 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Isaac Kfir (Contact Author)

Australian Strategic Policy Institute ( email )

40 Macquarie Street
Barton, ACT 2600
262705117 (Phone)

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