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International and European Refugee Law

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Contact Hours

2 hrs per week

Course Classification

This is a Themis course. It is also open to non-Themis students.

Teaching Mode

face-to-face teaching on campus


5 (if course has been attended regularly and exam has been passed)


The course will be held at irregular intervals, rather in the summer term than in the winter term.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

please see electronic course catalogue

Course Content

The international community as a whole and in particular the European Union, its institutions and its Member States have a role to play in addressing global migration challenges and refugee crises, including the 2015 EU migrant and refugee crisis and the 2022-2024 Ukrainian refugee crisis.

This course provides an analysis of both the international and European regime of refugee protection. The module is divided into two parts. The first part covers the international legal framework for refugee protection. The course explores the basic provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol regarding the definition of refugee, the exclusion, cessation and ending of refugee status, the principle of non-refoulement, the required standards of treatment of refugees as well as the institutions tasked with overseeing the implementation of these instruments. Then, the course examines the refugee protection under international human rights law (European Convention of Human Rights).

The second part of the course analyzes the development of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by the European Union. Within this framework, the course focuses on the issue of which Member State is responsible for examining the asylum claim (Dublin III Regulation), on the eligibility for protection (Qualification Directive), on the rules for the procedure for the examination of asylum claims (Procedures Directive) and on the conditions and rights applicable for asylum seekers pending the asylum procedure (Reception Conditions Directive).

Recommended Readings

  • Pieter Boeles, Maarten den Heijer, Gerrie Lodder, Kees Wouters, European Migration Law (Intersentia, 2014), pp. 243-371.
  • Guy S. Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law, Third edition (OUP, 2007).
  • James C. Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition (CUP, 2014).
  • Steve Peers, Violeta Moreno-Lax, Madeline Galick and Elspeth Guild (ed.), EU Immigration Law (Text and Commentary), Volume 3 (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2015).

Restricted Enrollment

no (that means that everyone signing up for this course on time can take part in this course)

Course Registration

via Campus Management

Please sign up for this course under the module "Study Program for Exchange Students - Module 15".

registration period: 2 April 2024, 9 a.m.  - 3 May 2024, 12 p.m. (midnight) 

De-Registration from this Course

via Campus Management

regular drop period: 2 April 2024, 9 a.m.  - 3 May 2024, 12 p.m. (midnight) 

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam. Please contact the International Office at the Law Department if you have to use this option.

Type of Exam

written exam

Exam Period

The exam will probably take place in the last week of the lecture period or in the preceeding week. → Academic Calendar

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management