Challenges and Shortcomings of the International Refugee Protection System: An Evaluation of the EU Asylum System

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
John McIntyre - Teaching Room 208 (University of Glasgow)
Merve Ozkan Borsa , Political Science and International Relations / International Law, Istanbul University
It was decided at the 1999 Tampere European Council that a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) should be established by the European Union (EU). The so-called EU asylum system in which "Global Approach to Migration" and the ‘integrated border management’ are followed should be designed and implemented in accordance to the principles set out in international protection system, which consists of two strands, international refugee law and international human rights law -including regional human rights instruments-. However, EU asylum policies fall short of meeting the recommendations of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (which is also a part of the protection system, serving as the ‘guardian’ of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol) whose recommendations -though not strictly binding- cannot be completely disregarded by State Parties in the light of Article 35 of the (1951) Refugee Convention.

Deriving from this angle of view, t is claimed in this paper that the EU actions regarding the refugee issue might not always compatible with UNHCR’s view that the responsibility for the care of asylum seekers and the determination of their claims fall on the state within whose jurisdiction the claim is made. This assertion of the study will be tried to be supported by examples from the practices of those concerned within the EU system and that are not uphelding some of the international obligations of the member states and the explanation of what poses a challenge to access to asylum and to international protection systems will be discussed.