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Both our common law constitution and human rights law treat liberty as a central value. Yet, immigration detention remains less constrained, both normatively and institutionally, than other forms of detention. International human rights bodies and courts, and indeed domestic courts, routinely review and indeed sometimes condemn detention of migrants. Yet, that jurisprudence has been subject to a convincing critique, for failing to properly scrutinise the necessity of immigration detention. Many scholars have thus pointed out the law's anomalously indulgent approach to immigration detention, compared with other forms of deprivation of liberty. Yet, powerful as this critique is, it sometimes fails to address prior questions concerning the political purposes and legal grounds of detention. By examining these grounds and purposes, both legitimate and illegitimate, the lecture will aim to elucidate the manner in which immigration law produces reasons to detain, and thwarts any test of necessity from effectively constraining the state's power to detain migrants. The diverse approaches of the UN Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union will be contrasted. The likely impact of new EU norms on detention of asylum-seekers and pre-removal detention will also be explored.

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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.

Past Annual Harrell-Bond Lectures

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

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

Past Annual Elizabeth Colson Lectures

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.

Forthcoming seminars

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Forthcoming events

Multilocality and refugee-nomad interchange in northern Mauritania

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | An intersectional approach to policy and decision making on SOGI asylum claims in Europe

Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Rohingya refugee crisis: examination of the causes of persecution

Tuesday, 03 March 2020, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar Room 1 Oxford Department of International Development 3 Mansfield Road OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | Bordering

Wednesday, 04 March 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Exiled: The Plight of Rohingya Refugees | Screening and Discussion with the Director

Friday, 06 March 2020, 5pm to 7pm @ Meeting Room A, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | Access to SGBV protection services for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB