Law of Asylum

The law of asylum in the Middle East and Asia: Developing legal engagement at the frontiers of the international refugee regime

Principal Investigator: Martin Jones

The role of local human rights defenders in engaging legal frameworks to protect refugees in the Middle East and Asia has long been under examined and under supported.  Working with four leading providers of legal aid to refugees in Egypt, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong, the project will evaluate the experiences of refugees, lawyer human rights defenders and legal aid organisations in using innovative legal arguments and frameworks to protect refugees. The project will support the mapping of the relevant local legal frameworks through doctrinal legal analysis, interviews and workshops with legal experts, and discussion with refugee community leaders. The project will provide funding to local lawyers to pursue legal advocacy for the rights of refugees drawing on a range of innovative sources of law, including other international treaties, local constitutional law, various local legislative provisions, local jurisprudence, and common-law principles. It will collect detailed stories about 120 of these legal encounters; these stories will be documented over time, using a range of material, and from multiple points of view. Forty of the stories will be turned in to multi-media, digital stories for further online discussion and advocacy.  In addition to exploring the uses of the law by lawyer human rights defenders, the project will also explore the relationship between these defenders and the refugees they defend, and both groups' perceptions and experiences of legal engagement.

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