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The Readmission of Asylum Seekers Under International Law: Migration Control and Access to Protection

Dr Giuffré has recently submitted her monograph on the “Readmission of Asylum Seekers under International Law” (Hart Publishing, 2019). As discourses relating to refugees’ access to territory, rescue at sea, and push-backs dominate political debate as never before, this research could not be more timely. Looking at the questions which lie at the junction of migration control and refugee law standards, it explores the extent to which readmission can hamper refugees’ access to protection. Though it draws mainly on European law, notably the European Convention of Human Rights, it also examines other international frameworks, including those at the United Nations level and instruments such as the Refugee Convention.

Dr Giuffré’s work offers an analysis of both the legal and policy questions at play, in order to ensure its full engagement with widely-disputed cases concerning readmission agreements, deportation with assurances, and interception at sea. By so doing, it seeks to clarify a complex field, which has at times suffered from a partiality in both its terminology and substance.

The central argument of this book is that States increasingly tend to connect asylum with the fight against irregular immigration, thus often myopically adopting asylum measures driven by strict border control considerations. It explores the plethora of bilateral agreements linked to readmission formally or informally concluded by European States with third countries both for smoothing the removal of irregular migrants with no right to remain in the territory, and for preventing arrivals by outsourcing or off-shoring migration controls. It therefore contends that States should not cooperate on migration control with those countries who have a dismal human rights track record.