This seminar will introduce students to international refugee law and U.S. asylum law. Some background in immigration law would be helpful, but it is not necessary. Students without any background in immigration law might have to work a bit harder at the beginning of the course. The course will cover the following topics: The international origins of Refugee Law; the relationship between U.S. law and International Law; the meaning of well-founded fear; and the definition of persecution. We will analyze the protections against persecution on account of political opinion, religion, race of nationality, and a social group. We will also deal in detail with gender-related claims to refugee status. Furthermore, we will examine the national and international qualifications and limitations set on the right of protection. The course will conclude with a discussion on the mechanics of the asylum process, and the future challenges to refugee protection in the international and national contexts.
The book used in this course will be Forced Migration Law and Policy by Martin, Motomura, and Fullerton. Attendance and participation are mandatory. The Substantial Analytical Writing (SAW) requirement could be fulfilled.