Practicing Refugee Law on the Frontier: Refugee Law in Egypt, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong
Refugee protection is traditionally understood as flowing from the Refugee Convention of 1951 but the majority of the world’s refugees live in states that are not party to the Refugee Convention. Refugees in most states in the Middle East and Asia find themselves at the frontier of the international refugee regime – in jurisdictions that are not party to the Refugee Convention and where there is no domestic law addressing refugee protection. What is the role of lawyers and the law for refugees in such places? What arguments based on local law and practice can be made for the protection of refugees? Despite many challenges, lawyers in places like Egypt, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong are pioneering new arguments and developing new protections for refugees. The panel will include leading refugee lawyers from Egypt, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong talking about their successes and frustrations – and their hopes for a new imagination of what refugee law and protection can look like.
The panel will be moderated by Martin Jones, Senior Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, and Kelley Loper, Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong.
Martin Jones practiced as a refugee lawyer in Canada and has consulted to a wide range of refugee legal aid organisations in the Global South. He is the principal investigator of a two year research project, “The Law of Asylum in the Middle East and Asia: Developing Legal Engagement at the Frontiers of the International Refugee Regime”, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.
Kelley Loper is the principal investigator of a two year research project, “International Human Rights Law and Refugee Protection in Asian States not Party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees”, funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council.
Panelists will include representatives from the Egyptian Foundation for Human Rights, the Ara Trust in Malaysia, the North South Initiative in India, and Daly, Ho and Associates in Hong Kong.