Gilad Ben-Nun (Global & European Studies Institute (GESI) – University of Leipzig)
This paper explains how the Non Refoulement Principle (Art. 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention), seen today as the bedrock of modern international legal refugee protection, was drafted. It provides a plausible explanation as to why UN member States agreed to limit their National Sovereignty in this regard, focusing on a network analysis of the drafter’s circles. The existence of a humanitarianly-minded coalition of State-delegates, during the Refugee Convention’s Travaux préparatoires, facilitated the creation of this vital international legal tool. The impact of the drafters’ work came to the fore some six decades after their fruitful joint efforts, during the current refugee crisis on the High Seas of the Mediterranean. A second point of reference in this lecture will concentrate on the methodological approaches to the interpretation of treaties- between historical approaches and textual readings – and explain why these methodological issues are crucial as they directly influence the lives of thousands of African migrants. Thanks to the historical reading by the European Court for Human Rights, who broke ranks with the American and Australian Supreme Court in their textual reading of Non Refoulement, European Navies exchanged their ‘push back’ operations in the Mediterranean Sea, and in favour of search and rescue operations – in contrast to both the Australian and American Coast Guards.
Discutant : Benjamin Boudou (Sciences Po-CERI)
Lieu : CERI, salle Jean Monnet, 17.00-19.00