'The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law' book launch event was hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre, Hertie School for Fundamental Rights, Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, on Tuesday 25 May 2021. Professor Hilary Charlesworth launched this state-of-the-art work and engaged in a lively discussion with the three editors, Professors Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster and Jane McAdam. The event was chaired by refugee advocate and lawyer Nyadol Nyuon.
This panel problematises and critiques the notion of ‘displacement’ in the context of disasters and climate change. While the threat posed by climate change is real, its manifestations are not as straightforward as we might think. For instance, the idea that rising sea levels will displace millions of people and create ‘climate refugees’ is a popular trope, but it has little evidential grounding. Within the Pacific, multiple and diverse types of mobility, as well as immobility, have been used as coping strategies over centuries.
At an extraordinary time of interconnectedness, new spirals of tribalism and discrimination are also appearing around the world. In this special session, one of the world’s most exciting thinkers and speakers, Professor E Tendayi Achiume, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, will survey the scene, in conversation with acclaimed lawyer and writer, Nyadol Nyuon. What is the impact on refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants? Is international law helping them, or failing to provide protection?
Amid increasingly complex and restrictive legislation, refugee advocates are turning to Australian courts for clarity and justice. It’s a slow, costly process, often with a slim chance of success, so when does it make sense? What goes into considering whether or not to run a case? How do lawyers choose which laws to fight, when and how? Is there a better way? In this panel, lawyers report from the frontlines about the success, stumbling blocks and sustainability of strategic litigation.
Technology is never neutral. As every aspect of our lives is transformed by apps, AI and other tech, who (or what) is shaping the role of technology in the refugee protection system? This panel will explore the opportunities and new challenges arising: Can artificial intelligence make refugee status determination more efficient and less biased? Can blockchain provide ‘digital identities’ and promote financial inclusion of displaced people? Who’s collecting what data, who’s accountable and how?