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about the speaker

Stephanie Motz is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, where she writes on “Disabled Persons, Refugee Status and Non-refoulement”. Her Visiting Fellowship at the Refugee Studies Centre is preceded by a research stay at the University of Michigan and is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Stephanie has practiced as a barrister for seven years, specialising in asylum, immigration and human rights law in both London and Zurich. In the course of her work, she has successfully represented applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Committee Against Torture, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, and the High Court and Court of Appeal of the United Kingdom and has appeared in a country guidance case there.

Stephanie has taught public law at King’s College London and now teaches on the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the Refugee Law Initiative, London. She also gives an introductory course on Swiss immigration and asylum law at the Zurich Higher Education School for Applied Sciences (ZHAW).  She has published various articles and book chapters both in English and German in the area of asylum, immigration and human rights law.

Stephanie completed her undergraduate degree at King’s College London and her Master’s degree (Bachelor of Civil Law) at the University of Oxford. She also undertook internships at the International Criminal Court, the International Commission of Jurists, the Malawi Legal Aid Department and the Greek Council for Refugees.

Stephanie's research focuses on the protection of disabled refugees in international refugee law, EU asylum law and under the European Convention on Human Rights. Drawing on the rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, she seeks to develop a disability-sensitive interpretation of the refugee definition.

The title of her research is: "The Refugee Status of Disabled Persons".


For any enquiries about this event, please contact Tara-Sienna Hartman at

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.

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