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This seminar will provide an opportunity to examine the changing legal context of migration governance in and around the Mediterranean. It will bring together academic lawyers and practitioners to discuss the workings of the legal regime of search and rescue, suppression of human smuggling, non-refoulement and the prohibition on collective expulsion. The aim is to focus on discrete recent legal developments in particular, and to explore their implications. These are UN Security Council Resolution 2240 (2015) on human smuggling in Libya, various EU Member States’ plans to erect further border walls and fences, and the communication of cases against Spain concerning its border practices in Ceuta and Melilla and their compatibility with the prohibition on collective expulsion.

Unfortunately, due to space restrictions, this special seminar is invitation only.


1:00    Registration, Sandwich lunch served

Chair & Convenor: Professor Cathryn Costello, Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor in International Human Rights and Refugee Law

1:30    The Mediterranean as a Special Area of Responsibility (Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Emeritus Professor of International Refugee Law, All Souls College)

2:00    UN Security Council Resolution 2240 (2015) - The Crime of Human Smuggling as a Threat to International Peace and Security (Professor Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Associate Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford)

2:30    Current Litigation Against Border Expulsions (Ms Nuala Mole, Director, AIRE Centre)

3:00    Q & A - Coffee Break

3:30    All at Sea - Operational and Legal Issues in Maritime Search and Rescue (Commander Patrick Burke, Legal Officer, Irish Defence Forces)

4:00    The Boat is Full - Non-Refoulement at Border Fences and Walls (Ms Stephanie Motz, Visiting Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre)

4:30    General Discussion and Closing Observations

5:00    End of Seminar


Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA