Auteursarchief: admin

The geopolitics of knowledge production in international migration law (2021)

This chapter addresses the involvement of academic research on international migration law in the political project of the global North to impose its view concerning international migration law on the global South. The purportedly well-established principle of international law that states have the right exclude foreigners has its origins in the US Supreme Court’s Chinese Exclusion case law. The doctrine holding that the right of exclusion is inherent in state sovereignty developed there has been adopted and transformed by the European Court of Human Rights. In order to show the continuing relevance of the Chinese Exclusion doctrine, I will analyse a rather everyday judgment of the European Court about boat people (J.R. et autres v Grèce 2018).  This will be contrasted with a judgment about boat people from the global South, issued by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Supreme Court of Justice (Namah v Pato 2016). I will then show how the PNG judgment, and law from the global South more generally, is sidelined in academic work, while Strasbourg judgments are treated as embodying the state of international law (even when they are being criticised). I will analyse this as an act of power erasing sources of international migration law from the global South. As an example, I include bibliometrics on the International Journal of Refugee Law. I will close by showing that this erasure can be, and actually is being resisted within the discipline of international law.

Confronting the Colonial Structure of International Migration Law (lecture, 2021)

Inaugural lecture of the International Franqui Professor Chair 2020-2021, Ghent University: Youtube. 

A version of this talk with a specific focus on settler colonies is Coloniality, Settler Colonialism, and International Migration Law (Annual Howard Adelman Lecture, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, 17 June 2021), Youtube

Anonymous (1617): Hugo de Groot (Collection Haags Museum)

Introduction to the Symposium on COVID-19, Global Mobility and International Law (with E. Tendayi Achiume and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, 2020)

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, international mobility all but ground to a halt by the second quarter of2020. Airline traffic dropped more than 70 percent, and thousands of grounded airplanesfilled up the runways.All over the world, travel restrictions and quarantine measures are still in place at the time of this writing, and cross-border mobility remains largely shut down for all but the most essential forms of travel. Although some countriespartially relaxed travel restrictions over the summer, there can be no question that the pandemic has fundamen-tally reconfigured global mobility and migration, even if only temporarily. Amidst these shifts, this symposiumdocuments and reflects critically on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for mobility and migrationacross international borders, on pertinent governance structures, and on thefield of global migration and mobilitylaw more broadly. A key hypothesis motivating the symposium is that COVID-19 has both laid bare and exacer-bated the discriminatory andflawed nature of current international rules related to migration and global mobility.Hence, we have invited our contributors not only to reflect on the implications of current developments, but alsoto imagine alternatives and to consider the possibility that COVID-19 might represent a kind of“Stunde Null,”anat least temporary reset, for the terms of global mobility and migration law.

The Symposium includes contributions by Guofu Liu; Frédéric Mégret; Florian Hoffmann, Isadora d’Avila Lima and Nery Gonçalves; Tesseltje de Lange, Sandra Mantu and Paul Minderhoud; Abdoulaye Hamadou; John Reynolds; and Ian Kysel and Chantal Thomas.

E. Tendayi Achiume, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Thomas Spijkerboer: Introduction to the Symposium on COVID-19, Global Mobility and International Law, AJIL Unbound 114(2020) 312-316


Zehra Doğan: Kızıl Ay Tutulması 3 (Red Moon Eclipse 3). Created in 2018 in Diyarbakır prison from coffee, tea, cigarette ash, turmeric, bleach, tomato paste and pencil on the artist’s sister’s skirt. Photograph: Zehra Doğan . For more information see The Guardian 10 November 2020

“I wish there was a treaty we could sign” (2020)

Externalization is a core element of the Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2020, and has been key to European policies since 1990. As 2015 has shown, even sustaining a limited number of asylum seekers and refugees when compared to more seriously affected parts of the world leads to an experienced crisis. Consequently, the Pact focuses on preventing irregular migration, and seeking asylum is considered as a subset of irregular migration. This essentially coercive approach to cooperation (focussing on the question of how the EU can make other countries do what is in the EU’s interest) ignores the reality that the EU and many third countries have conflicting interests and normative perspectives when it comes to migration and mobility. This contribution addresses that assumption.

“I wish there was a treaty we could sign”, Forum on the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the UN GCR 28 September 2020; also published in Sergio Carrera & Andrew Geddes (eds): The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees. International Experiences on Containment and Mobility and their Impacts on Trust and Rights (European University Institute: San Domenico di Fiesole 2021; doi:10.2870/541854), 61-70

M.C. Escher

The Libyan litigation about the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya (2020, with Majd Achour)

Mustapha Akrim: Fragile, 2019 (“Liberty” in arabic), reinforced concrete and metal

Case-law on migration from the global South is referred to at most as news items even in academic texts. What is referred to is the outcome: Libyan court suspends MoU; Papua New Guinea court ends offshore detention. In this blog, we take the case law of Libyan courts about the 2017 MoU seriously as law, and not merely as news.

Majd Achour and Thomas Spijkerboer: The Libyan litigation about the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya, eumigrationlawblog.eu, 2 June 2020

Kabinet inconsistent over minderjarige vluchtelingen uit Griekenland (met Flip Schüller, 2020)

Een aantal organisaties en personen riep samen met circa 40 gemeentes gezamenlijk nogmaals het kabinet op om gehoor te geven aan de noodkreet van Griekenland en de aanbeveling van de Europese Commissie1 om maximaal 500 kinderen over te nemen die zonder familie vast zitten in Griekse vluchtelingenkampen. Elf landen geven gehoor aan deze oproep, waaronder Duitsland.

Fatou Mandoye Mbengue: Linéaire (2019), Galerie nationale d’art, Dakar

Lees de volledige blogpost van Flip Schüller en Thomas Spijkerboer op het NJB blog van 23 april 2020