In response to the refugee crisis in Europe, Oxford University Press has made more than 30 book chapters, journal articles, and pieces of content from online resources freely accessible to assist those working with refugees on the ground, as well as anyone who would like to know more about the framework of rights and obligations concerning refugees. The materials are structured around four key questions:
There is also a list of useful refugee law links.
Globalex: 'Researching the Legal Aspects of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union' by Colin Fong (open access)
Peace Palace Library Refuge Law Guide (open access).
Oxford Bibliographies Online - International Law (UniMelb staff & students) provides authoritative research guides combining encyclopaedic entries and annotated bibliographies on a range of topics including:
UNHCR - the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Refworld - the UNHCR's Refworld legal collection is a tool for disseminating and promoting the international law relating to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and other 'persons of concern' to UNHCR.Included in the collection is:
EISIL - created by the American law Society of International Law, this is an open database of authenticated international law materials, and a good place to start your research on refugees, asylum, nationality, displaced persons and freedom of movement.
The following databases can be searched or browsed to find:
The databases can be searched to find individual decisions, cases in a particular court or on a particular topic.
Open Access databases
Refworld (cases selected for inclusion in this database are by definition cases on refugee law.)
To search Refworld's caselaw collection, choose 'caselaw' from the 'Jurisprudence' tab in the top menu on the Refworld home page. From here you can browse to relevant cases by continually narrowing by court, topic etc.
Alternatively, you can perform an advanced search. Use the 'search tips' page for help in searching.
In WorldCourts, keyword searches can be used to search a single court or several courts simultaneously. Note that WorldCourts:
Subscription databases (UniMelb staff & students)
Oxford International Law Reports (ORIL)
To find refugee cases in international and domestic courts on ORIL, you can perform an advanced search or browse to refugee cases by selecting 'Subject' from the top blue menu bar, then 'Human Rights' and browsing to the topic using the + signs in the menu on the left, and narrowing the search further by eg: court and keywords.
For more information on finding cases in international courts and tribunals, see our International Law Research Guide - cases page.
The principal international agreement on the protection of refugees is the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 UNTS 137) and its 1967 Protocol (606 UNTS 267). This UNHRC webpage links to the text of the Convention and the Protocol, lists of state parties to both, and the most up to date reservations and declarations. An rss feed can alert you to new reservations and declarations.
The UN's Audiovisual Library of International Law - Refugees and Stateless Persons - is an archive of the history of the refugee conventions. It provides authoritative introductory notes by Guy Goodwin-Gill, procedural history, preparatory documents, status, audio and video files, and photos of:
Other refugee treaties (bilateral and multilateral) can be found on RefWorld. Either: