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Title: The exclusion of serious criminals from Convention Refugee status : statehood, human rights, and human security
Author: Djordjevic, Nenad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 0396
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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The 1951 Refugee Convention protects the basic right of an individual to be treated as an independent social agent of justification. It embodies the moral and legal framework through which any person can assert a claim to have their basic human rights respected, regardless of where they are located in the world. Partialist and impartialist theories of statehood are bridged through the recognition that states are obligated by universal morality and international law to accept Convention refugees into their territory. Any discretion states may have to reject Convention refugees consists entirely in the exclusion clauses, and cannot be grounded in any other claim. The discretion to exclude is exceptional and circumscribed. Article 1F of the Refugee Convention excludes serious international and common criminals from protection. While the clauses of the Refugee Convention are said to capture an autonomous international meaning, the reality has been marked by vastly divergent interpretations both within and among states. This lack of universality has allowed an expansionist trend to germinate, with some states seizing the opportunity left behind by normative and legal heterogeneity to initiate broad-based security measures in relation to refugees. This thesis maintains that the current lack of universality stems from the absence of an overarching theoretical foundation to exclusion. Three doctrinal debates relating to the exclusion of individuals as ‘serious non-political criminals’ under Article 1F(b) are closely examined: ‘serious’ crime; ‘non-political’ crime; and, standard of proof and evidentiary issues. Points of intersection between refugee law and other fields of law, including extradition and counter-terrorism, are given careful attention. A refugee law understanding of these doctrinal concepts is developed, directed by an integrative theory of ‘human security’ that highlights the need to preserve individualised assessment in refugee determination. The centrifugal force of ‘human security’ reveals that state security interests and refugee interests are not ineluctably polar. Rather, both are grounded in the protection of core human rights. This thesis is premised on that dialectical possibility.
Supervisor: Murphy, Cian Christopher ; Verdirame, Guglielmo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available