Date: November 2016 - October 2018
Researcher: Martin Jones
Is someone a refugee if he or she has fled to a state that hasn't signed the Refugee Convention or recognised refugees in its domestic law? If this person isn't a refugee, does he or she have any rights? What protection is owed to him or her by the new state of residence? How can the law, lawyers and legal institutions respond to the vulnerability, needs and capacities of such individuals?
Working with four leading providers of legal aid to refugees in Egypt, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong, this project evaluated the experiences of refugees, lawyers and legal aid organisations in using innovative legal arguments and frameworks to protect refugees. It supported the mapping of the relevant local legal frameworks through doctrinal legal analysis, interviews and workshops with legal experts, and discussion with refugee community leaders. It also provided funding to local lawyers to pursue legal advocacy for the rights of refugees drawing on a range of innovative sources of law. These sources included other international treaties, local constitutional law, various local legislative provisions, local jurisprudence, and common-law principles. This project collected detailed stories about 120 of these legal encounters; these stories will be documented over time, using a range of material, and from multiple points of view. Forty of the stories will be digitised for further online discussion and advocacy.
This project was funded by the Global Challenges programme of research (ESRC and AHRC). The PI, Mr Martin Jones is working with the Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights (Egypt); Ara Trust (India); North South Institute (Malaysia); and, Daly and Associates (Hong Kong).