Research Handbook on International Refugee Law
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Research Handbook on International Refugee Law

Edited by Satvinder Singh Juss

In an age of ethnic nationalism and anti-immigrant rhetoric, the study of refugees can help develop a new outlook on social justice, just as the post-war international order ends. The global financial crisis, the rise of populist leaders like Trump, Putin, and Erdogan, not to mention the arrival of anti-EU parties, raises the need to interrogate the refugee, migrant, citizen, stateless, legal, and illegal as concepts. This insightful Research Handbook is a timely contribution to that debate.
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Chapter 24: The war on terror and refugee law

Sarah Singer


This chapter considers the exclusion clauses of Article 1(F) of the Refugee Convention in relation to the War on Terror which has become so important over the past two decades. The chapter argues that the drive to deny the benefits of refugee status to terrorists has resulted in an expansion of the grounds of exclusion under the 1951 Refugee Convention and EU Qualification Directive. Section 2 of the chapter examines how asylum seekers and refugees have been equated with the threat posed by international terrorism in the context of the ‘War on Terror’ in international and domestic legal and political discourse. In Section 3, the influence of this discourse on international refugee law - particularly exclusion from refugee status and loss of protection against refoulement - is explored, drawing primarily on the practice and jurisprudence of the UK and EU. Finally, Section 4 provides some concluding comments on the consequences of these developments for both State security and the protection of asylum seekers and refugees themselves.

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