On building a boat (or, learning how not to teach refugee law)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The teaching of refugee law too often focuses excessively on the legal categories and rights set out by the international refugee regime rather than either the needs of the forcibly displaced or the norms, institutions and processes of the local legal systems within which their protection must be located. Drawing upon experiences from a range of jurisdictions on the frontier of the international refugee regime, I argue that the goal of teaching refugee law should be to equip law students, lawyers and allied non-lawyers (including the forcibly displaced themselves) with an understanding of the politics of the struggle for the rights of the forcibly displaced and the skill to pursue creative legal interventions that draw upon the particular features of the local legal environment. Examples from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Egypt and Aceh (Indonesia) establish the possibilities for such creative legal advocacy as well as the challenges in developing a pedagogy that better supports it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching migration and asylum law: theory and practice
EditorsRichard Grimes, Vera Honuskova, Ulrich Stege
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • refugee law
  • teaching
  • Law of Asylum

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