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Advanced international refugee law


This module explores cutting-edge debates within the field of international refugee law.

Topics covered

  • The development of international refugee law and the institutions mandated to safeguard it.
  • Detention of asylum-seekers and encampment.
  • Refugee rights, the refugee predicament and cessation of refugee status.
  • Non-refoulement challenges and responses: interception at sea, ‘mass influx’/ temporary protection, the ‘pacific solution’.
  • ‘War refugees’ and the role of international humanitarian law.
  • The outer boundaries of refugee law: climate-induced flight and the privileging of forced migration

Learning outcomes

This module provides you with an advanced critical understanding of the concepts, challenges and debates currently at the forefront of international refugee law. You will learn how to research, advance and defend detailed legal arguments evaluating evolving interpretations of refugee law and apply these to challenging case studies.


This elective module is assessed via a 4,000-word research essay, which comprises 70% of the overall grade, and three online assessments (E-tivities), which make up 30% of the overall grade.

Module team

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler, module convenor

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Reuven is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading, School of Law and is the Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes. Ruvi is an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Research Associate of the Refuge Studies Centre, University of Oxford; Co-convenor of the Migration and Asylum Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London) and Editor-in-Chief of its Working Paper Series.

Ruvi's public engagements include serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of New Europeans Association UK; Chair of the Oxford European Association; A Britain in Europe academic expert; and an advisory council member of Rene Cassin. Previously, Ruvi was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program; and a Tutor in Public International Law at Oxford.

Ruvi's recently published book is Voting rights of refugees (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Ruvi's areas of research interest include: International Refugee Law, Electoral Rights and citizenship, Comparative Constitutional Law and International Humanitarian Law. Ruvi holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford.

Member institution: School of Advanced Study