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Refugees on the High Seas: International Refugee Solutions to a Law of the Sea Problem

O'Brien, K; (2010) Refugees on the High Seas: International Refugee Solutions to a Law of the Sea Problem. Göttingen Journal of International Law , 3 (2) pp. 715-732. Green open access

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Abstract

Following in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Europe’s southern marine borders have been the showplace of human tragedies previously unseen on this scale and the issue of refugees on the high seas has assumed a newfound importance. This article examines the flawed system provided by the ‘Constitution of the Oceans’, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for the protection of the lives of migrants at sea. It submits that international refugee law is well-equipped to assume a greater responsibility in ensuring the protection of those involved. Although the concept of non-refoulement cannot be stretched ad absurdum, it may still be reasonably interpreted as providing a temporary right to disembark for the purpose of processing possible asylum applications. In the long-term, a system of burden-sharing and permanent, yet flexible, reception agreements remain the only sustainable solution.

Type: Article
Title: Refugees on the High Seas: International Refugee Solutions to a Law of the Sea Problem
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.gojil.eu/issues/32/32_article_obrien.p...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110468
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