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Refugee & Asylum Seeker Law Research Guide: Books & Journals

Reference Books / Handbooks

The Refugee Law Reader

The Refugee Law Reader: Cases, Documents and Materials (open access - but registration is required) is aimed for the use of academics, lawyers, advocates, and students across a wide range of national jurisdictions. The Reader offers access to the complete texts of up-to-date core legal materials, instruments, and academic commentary.

The Reader is divided into six sections:

Each section contains the relevant hard and soft law, the most important cases decided by national or international courts and tribunals, and academic commentaries.

The Reader uses James C Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status (CUP, 2nd ed, 2014) and Guy Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (OUP, 3rd ed, 2007) as core texts.

Journals & Journal Indexes

Using indexes to scholarly journal literature is the best way to find relevant articles on your refugee or asylum seeker topic. See our Legal Research - Secondary Resources Research Guide for more information. You can search hundreds of law journals at the same time using keyword searches in the recommended resources listed below. Many of these indexes link to the full text articles.

  • AGIS on INFORMIT (UniMelb staff & student access) - Australia and New Zealand

  • Index to Canadian Legal Literature on WestlawNext Canada (UniMelb staff & student access)

  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals on HEIN Online - (UniMelb staff & student access) - a multilingual index to articles in legal journals published worldwide on the law of all jurisdictions other than the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

  • Legal Journals Index on Westlaw UK  (UniMelb staff & student access) - UK & EU articles

  • Legal Source on the EBSCO platform (UniMelb staff & student access) - multijurisdictional

  • Legaltrac  (UniMelb staff & student access) - multijurisdictional

  • LEGENDcom - database of Australian migration and citizenship legislation and policy documents.

  • New Zealand Legal Writing Index on WestlawAu

  • SSRN (open access) - multijurisdictional. This is the best database for finding very recent pre-publication articles and book chapters.

In addition to legal journals, many articles concerning refugee issues are published in journals in other disciplines. Use for example:

Note: indexes on the same platform can be searched together eg: you can search Academic Search Complete, Bibliography of Asian Studies and Legal Source at the same time.


Specific Refugee and Asylum journals held by the University of Melbourne include:

Recent Print and E-Books

Books on international refugee and asylum seeler law are generally shelved at KC 205. Books on refugee law in a particular country are shelved with the books on that jurisdiction. Books on statelessness are shelved at KC 194.

Recent books on international, global and comparative refugee law (to see recent books on domestic refugee law in this Guide - see the Australian, Canadian, US, NZ and UK tabs. To see recent books on regional refugee law, see the Regional tab in this Guide.)