Border Justice: Migration and Accountability for Human Rights Violations

German Law Journal (2020), 21, pp. 311–334

24 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020

See all articles by Cathryn Costello

Cathryn Costello

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Itamar Mann

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

This introductory Article sets out the premise of the Special Issue, the entrenched and pervasive nature of human rights violations in the context of migration control and the apparent lack of accountability for such violations. It sets out features of contemporary migration control practices and their legal governance that contribute to this phenomenon, namely the exceptional treatment of migration in international law; the limited scope of international refugee law; and the pervasive use of externalized, delegated migration controls, in particular by the EU and its Member States. The roots of the current condition are traced back to the containment practices that emerged at the end of the Cold War, with the 2015 “crisis” framed both as an illustration of the failures of containment, and a source of further stasis. Following an overview of the contributions that make up the Special Issue, this Article identifies five emergent themes, and suggests further lines of inquiry. These are: the promise and limits of strategic human rights limitations; the role of both international criminal law, and domestic (and regional) tort law in securing accountability; the turn to positive obligations to challenge entrenched features of containment; and the role of direct action in support of and solidarity with those challenging migration controls most directly, refugees and migrants themselves. Rather than offering panaceas, the Article concludes with the identification of further new challenges, notably the role of new technologies in further dissipating lines of accountability for decisions to exclude.

Suggested Citation

Costello, Cathryn and Mann, Itamar, Border Justice: Migration and Accountability for Human Rights Violations (2020). German Law Journal (2020), 21, pp. 311–334, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3573787

Cathryn Costello

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre ( email )

Oxford Department of International Development
32 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX13TB
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Itamar Mann (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

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