International and European Refugee Law

Course description

This course explores the legal and policy issues of forced migration. It consists of three major blocks: the first sets the historic, conceptual and philosophical framework. The second reviews international refugee law, to be applied at the universal level. The third thoroughly investigates the European asylum acquis from its inception to its present state and looks into proposals concerning future development, covering both the normative and the institutional aspect.

In academic respects the course will analyse in detail the cornerstone documents of the present refugee regime. These include the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees with its 1967 Protocol, and the evolving EU Common European Asylum System. The latter will be analysed by scrutinising the adopted acquis and the recasts as adopted. The increasing body of human rights treaties used for the protection of asylum seekers as well as selected national legal systems and case law will also be introduced and discussed.

The course addresses the institutions, legal texts and outcome of the protection of minority rights in the EU and in the Council of Europe in details with reference to the OSCE. The course analyse the birth, content, supervisory mechanism, and impact of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages alike the anti-discrimination rules of the European Convention on Human rights and the case-law of the ECHR. Special attention is given to EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; the anti-discrimination rules of the EU law and to the case law of the EU Court. The course provides an insight to the theoretical problems of the international protection of minority rights.


In terms of cognitive skills the course is designed to develop the students’ readiness to develop logical arguments supporting a predetermined outcome, in other words to represent interests from a toolbox of available and legitimate legal arguments. Seminar discussion helps refine the argumentative and rhetoric skills. The presentation by each student during the course serves strengthening the research design capabilities, the skill of academic co-operation, and, at the same time the readiness for individual work. The historic and empirical aspects of the course enrich the personal motivation and enhance empathic identification, thereby openness to plurality. The link of theory with field experience will anchor the abstract scholarly knowledge in thick reality thereby preparing students to be effective agents if later they start to work in this field.

The final exam mobilises the analytical and critical skills and the ability to be productive under stress. Constant formal and informal feedback from the professor during the course creates an iterative process leading to deeper insight. Finally, the whole spirit of the course (as of refugee law itself) supports the idea of open society and the value of individual freedom and human rights. The course helps to improve skills to analyse international legal instruments in a comparative manner. The students will be able identify and evaluate the relationships between specific human rights.


  • Costello, Cathryn: The European asylum procedures directive in legal context, UNHCR New issues in refugee research. Research paper no. 134., November 2006. Also published in: Baldaccini, Toner, Guild (eds.) Whose Freedom, Security and Justice? EU Immigration and Asylum Law after 1999,  Hart, 2007
  • Doná, Giorgia and Berry, John W.: Refugee acculturation and re-acculturation, Ager, Alastair, (ed) Refugees Perspectives on the Experience of  Forced Migration Pinter, London & New York, 1999, 
  • Hathaway, James C.: The Rights of Refugees under International Law, CUP, Cambridge, 2005, pp
  • Peers, Steve: EU Justice and Home Affairs Law, Third (paperback) ed. Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Minority Rights in Europe (2004), Council of Europe ISBN 978-92-871-5366-1PDF
  • Tawhida Ahmed: The Impact of EU Law on Minority Rights; Hart Publishing, Oxford ISBN 9781841138725


  • Commission Staff Working Document on the Third Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011) Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Third Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011) SWD(2012) 139 final, pp 55-62 (on asylum)
  • Commission: Communication A Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles,        actions and tools, COM(2008) 359 final, Brussels, 17.6.2008
  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011) COM(2012) 250 final, Brussels, 30.5.2012
  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on enhanced intra-EU solidarity in the field of asylum An EU agenda for better responsibility-sharing and more mutual trust  COM(2011) 835 final, Brussels, 2.12.2011
  • Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe's citizens
  • Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme COM(2010) 171 final 20.4.2010
  • Kardos, Gábor: The Identification of a Minority, Ukrainian Journal of International Law. Kiev, 2013 Special Edition: Human Rights, pp. 178-182


Boldizsár Nagy


Cím Fájlnév Létrehozva Méret
Cím Fájlnév Létrehozva Méret
Universal Refugee Law_2019 Universal refugee law 20190215.pptx 2019.02.28. 9.68 MB
Slide1 International and European Refugee Law (JP28-IE, 2016_17-2_JP28-IE, 2016_17_2) 2019.02.28. 9.56 MB
Slide2 European Refugee law 2019-2.pptx 2019.03.21. 3.24 MB