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RSC Public Seminar Series, Hilary Term 2018

Series convened by Dr Lilian Tsourdi

Seminar held on 17 January 2018

About the seminar

The seminar is based on Ruvi's monograph, Voting Rights of Refugees (CUP, 2017). The book develops a novel legal argument about the voting rights of refugees recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention. The main normative contention is that such refugees should have the right to vote in the political community where they reside, assuming that this community is a democracy and that its citizens have the right to vote. The book argues that recognised refugees are a special category of non-citizen residents: they are unable to participate in elections of their state of origin, do not enjoy its diplomatic protection and consular assistance abroad, and are unable or unwilling, owing to a well-founded fear of persecution, to return to it. Refugees deserve to have a place in the world, in the Arendtian sense, where their opinions are significant and their actions are effective. Their state of asylum is the only community in which there is any prospect of political participation on their part.

About the speaker

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, where he Director of the Global LLM (postgraduate) programmes in Human Rights, International Law, and Advanced Legal Studies. He convenes the LLM modules 'International Refugee Law' and 'Israel/Palestine: International Law and Human Rights Issues', and contributes to teaching of 'International Humanitarian Law' and 'International Human Rights Law'. He also convenes the core undergraduate module 'Public Law 2' (administrative law and civil liberties).

Ruvi is an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Convenor of the Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; Editor-in-Chief of the Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London) Working Paper Series; and a Researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute (analysing the treatment of asylum seekers in Israel as part of the Constitutional Principles project).

Ruvi holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; LL.M. with specialisation in Public Law from Hebrew University; and a joint LLB and BA from the University of Haifa. Ruvi was called to the Israeli bar in 2003.


Photo: The Evros fence, built in 2012 by the Greek government in order to deter human trafficking gangs from sending refugees and migrants across the border from Turkey. Credit: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis.