LAWPUBL 443 - Refugee Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Summer School
Contact hours: Lectures - 9 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Dr Anna Hood
Prerequisites: LAW 211 or 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights
Restrictions: LAW 428, LAWPUBL 424  

Course Description

This subject offers students the opportunity to undertake specialised study in a very important area of law that combines both public law and international law. Refugee law is a subject that is frequently discussed in the media and raises a range of interesting tensions and questions. It also provides important insights into the intersection of international and public law in the New Zealand legal system.

The course will start with an historical introduction to international refugee law as well as the development of refugee law in New Zealand. We will then spend a number of classes looking at the law that determines who is entitled to refugee status in New Zealand. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role that international law has in shaping the New Zealand jurisprudence on who is a refugee. In the final section of the course, we will look at a number of important contemporary issues in refugee law including climate change refugees and the detention of asylum seekers in Pacific nations by Australia. During the course, there will be some guest lectures.

Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on understanding the key legal principles in refugee law but also on understanding what factors and forces have created refugee law, whose interests the law serves, whose interests it harms and what the short comings of it are.​


1.5 hour in-class open book test (40%)

2 hour open book exam (60%)

Both the test and the final exam are open book. This means that you may, if you wish, bring into the test and exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

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