The End of Protection: The Danish ‘Paradigm Shift' and the Law of Cessation

Nordic Journal of International Law, Forthcoming

28 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2021

Date Written: July 17, 2020


This contribution discusses the recent ‘paradigm shift’ in Danish refugee policy towards temporary protection and return in light of the law of cessation. The article provides an overview of cessation standards drawing on the 1951 Refugee Convention, complementary protection under human rights law and the concept of temporary protection, before setting out the legislative changes making up the Danish ‘paradigm shift’. The Danish case reveals a structural gap in the law of cessation as it regards to complementary protection. The lack of a comprehensive complementary protection framework in some jurisdictions leaves the law open to governments wishing to instrumentalise and minimise protection obligations. Finally, the article analyses legal and policy implications of the policy turn, discussing Denmark’s potential role as a forerunner in temporary protection and cessation; gaps in the law of cessation vis-à-vis complementary protection; and calling for increased scholarly focus on the law of cessation.

Keywords: refugees, international protection, cessation, complementary protection, temporary protection

Suggested Citation

Tan, Nikolas Feith, The End of Protection: The Danish ‘Paradigm Shift' and the Law of Cessation (July 17, 2020). Nordic Journal of International Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Nikolas Feith Tan (Contact Author)

Danish Institute for Human Rights

Wilders Plads 8K
Copenhagen K, 1403

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