Skip to main content

Nonrefoulement and “Humanitarian” Refugees: Customary International Law or Wishful Legal Thinking?

  • Chapter

Part of the International Studies in Human Rights book series (ISHR)

Abstract

The estimated number of refugees in the world ranges between eleven and twelve million.1 Only a small percentage of them are fleeing their home countries due to particularized, well-founded fears of persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.2 Such refugees are protected under international law by the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees3 (“1951 Refugee Convention”) and its additional Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees4 (“1967 Refugee Protocol”). The vast majority of refugees are, by contrast, unprotected under codified international law. They are “humanitarian” refugees who seek shelter from conditions of general armed violence or natural disaster. The 1951 Refugee Convention, whose definition of “refugee” is based on individual political, religious, or racial persecution, is no longer relevant to the majority of refugees. The recent mass movements of persons fleeing civil war, military occupation, natural disasters, gross violations of human rights, or simply bad economic conditions,5 have emphasized the urgent need to reformulate the international legal regime which addresses the problems of refugees.

Keywords

  • Federal Republic
  • Supra Note
  • Asylum Seeker
  • Armed Conflict
  • Mass Influx

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This paper first appeared, in slightly modified form, in the Virginia Journal of International Law, 26 Va. J. Int’l L. 858 (1986), and is reprinted with permission.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-6389-9_9
  • Chapter length: 36 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   74.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-017-6389-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   99.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. This paper first appeared, in slightly modified form, in the Virginia Journal of International Law, 26 Va. J. Int’l L. 858 (1986), and is reprinted with permission.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Refugees, Mar. 1986, at 13 (Refugees magazine is published monthly by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

    Google Scholar 

  3. A well-founded fear of persecution on account of a person’s race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion is the requirement for recognition as a “refugee” under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, opened for signature July 28, 1951, art. 1, para. A(2), 189 U.N.T.S. 137 [hereinafter 1951 Refugee Convention], reprinted in 19 U.S.T. 6259, T.I.A.S. No. 6577, amended by Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, Jan. 31, 1967, art. 1, 19 U.S.T. 6223, T.I.A.S. No. 6577, 606 U.N.T.S. 267 [hereinafter 1967 Refugee Protocol].

    Google Scholar 

  4. The number of civilians fleeing their countries of origin because of internal armed conflict now exceeds the number of refugees as defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention. Perluss & Hartman, Temporary Refuge: Emergence of a Customary Norm, 26 Va. J. Int’l L. 551, 558 & n.28 (1986) (citing Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 40 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12) at 3, U.N. Doc. A/40/12 (1985)).

    Google Scholar 

  5. See supra note 2.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  7. See Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 559-71 (documenting numerous examples of recent mass movements of persons fleeing internal armed conflict).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 1951 Refugee Convention, supra note 2, art. 1, para. A(2). A portion of the definition was modified by the 1967 Refugee Protocol, supra note 2, art. 1. The modification, however, is not pertinent to this discussion.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Martin, Large-Scale Migrations of Asylum Seekers, 76 Am. J. Int’l L. 598, 608 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 559.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Id. at 560-71.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, G.A. Res. 428 Annex, para. 6(AXii), 5 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 20) at 46, U.N. Doc. A/1775 (1950). The UNHCR describes its two main functions as: International Protection-to promote and safeguard the rights of refugees in such vital fields as employment, education, residence, freedom of movement and security against being returned to a country where they may be in danger of persecution. Material Assistance-to assist governments of countries of asylum in the task of making refugees self supporting as rapidly as possible.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Refugees, Oct. 1986, at 4 (this description appears in the masthead of every issue).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Persons who satisfy the definition of “refugee” in the 1951 Refugee Convention are commonly referred to as “Convention refugees” or “statutory refugees.” 1 A. Grahl-Mad-sen, The Status of Refugees in International Law 108 (1966).

    Google Scholar 

  17. See Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 584 n.153 (citing G.A. Res. 1388, 14 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 20, U.N. Doc. A/4354 (1959); G.A. Res. 1673,16 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 17) at 28, U.N. Doc. A/5100 (1961); G.A. Res. 2039,20 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 14) at 41, U.N. Doc. A/6014 (1965); G.A. Res. 3454, 30 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 34) at 92, U.N. Doc. A/10034 (1975)).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Note on International Protection, Thirty-Sixth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, para. 6, U.N. Doc. A/AC.96/660 (1985) [hereinafter 1985 Note on International Protection].

    Google Scholar 

  19. Note, Displaced Persons: “The New Refugees,” 13 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 755, 787 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 1951 Refugee Convention, supra note 2, art. 33.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Under article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 23, 1969, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.39/27 (1969), 1980 Gr. Brit. T.S. No. 58 (Cmd. 7964), reprinted in 8 I.L.M. 679, 691-92 (1969), a treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.

    Google Scholar 

  22. G. Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law 74 (1983). But see Weis, Territorial Asylum, 6 Indian J. Int’l L. 173, 183 (1966) (“The travaux préparatoires give no conclusive answer as to the question whether the prohibition of return in Article 33 is limited to refugees in the territory of a Contracting State or extends also to refugees who present themselves at the frontier.”).

    Google Scholar 

  23. See Summary Record of the 16th Meeting, Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.2/SR.16, at 6 (1951) (the Swiss interpretation); Weis, Legal Aspects of the Convention of 28 July 1951 Relating to the Status of Refugees, 30 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 478, 482 (1953).

    Google Scholar 

  24. A Grahl-Madsen, Territorial Asylum 40 (1980); Feliciano, The Principle of Non-Refoulement: A Note on International Legal Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons, 57 Phil. L.J. 598, 599 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  25. Weis states that if the principle of nonrefoulement were interpreted so as to allow the return of those refugees who present themselves at the border, then “the extent to which a refugee is protected... against return to a country in which he fears persecution would depend upon the fortuitous circumstance whether he has succeeded in penetrating the territory of a Contracting State.” Weis, supra note 19, at 183–84. As support for this conclusion, Weis cites the Report on the granting of the right of asylum to European refugees, Explanatory Memorandum, para. 17, Eur. Consult. Ass., 17th sess., Doc. No. 1986 (1965), which states: “It seems illogical, a priori, that a person who has succeeded in crossing the frontier illegally should enjoy greater protection than someone who presents himself legally.”.

    Google Scholar 

  26. See Leng May Ma v. Barber, 357 U.S. 185 (1985). The Supreme Court decided that an alien’s physical presence in the United States does not necessarily constitute legal presence in the country. The temporary parole of an alien seeking admission to the United States thus did not entitle him to the benefit of a statute giving the Attorney General authority to withhold deportation of any alien “within the United States” if the alien would suffer physical persecution. Id. at 187-90. The statute was later amended, however, so that protection now extends to paroled aliens as well. 8 U.S.C. § 1253(h) (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  27. Hofmann, Asylum and Refugee Law, in The Legal Position of Aliens in National and International Law 2045, 2056 (J. Frowein & T. Stein eds. 1987) (extensive country reports and comparative summaries prepared for a colloquium at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Sept. 11-13, 1985) [hereinafter Heidelberg Colloquium].

    Google Scholar 

  28. See National Reports, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24 (reports on Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland).

    Google Scholar 

  29. In its definition of “refugee,” United States law includes aliens applying for admission at a land border or a port entry. Refugee Act of 1980, § 201, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(aX42)(A) (1982). Under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a) (1982), the Attorney General has discretion to grant asylum to an alien physically present in the United States or at such land border or port of entry.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Resolution (67)14 on asylum tö persons in danger of persecution, Council of Eur. Comm. of Ministers (1967), reprinted in 1967 Eur. Y.B. 349, 351.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Declaration on Territorial Asylum, G.A. Res. 2312, 22 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 81, U.N. Doc. A/6716 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  32. Id. art. 3, para. 1.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Aga Khan, Legal Problems Relating to Refugees and Displaced Persons, [1976] I Recueil des Cours 287.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Id. at 318.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Report of the United Nations Conference on Territorial Asylum, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.78/12 (1977).

    Google Scholar 

  36. A proposal by the Federal Republic of Germany to provide for an individual right of asylum was supported only by the Holy See, Norway, and Sweden. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  37. The 1977 Conference on Territorial Asylum did not lend support to the broad interpretation of the nonrefoulement principle. The Conference addressed the proposal of a group of United Nations experts who sought to limit the scope of the nonrefoulement rule by providing that “a Contracting State shall use its best endeavours to ensure that no person is rejected at its frontiers if rejection would subject him to persecution, prosecution or punishment for any of the reasons stated in Article 2.” No final provision was adopted.

    Google Scholar 

  38. The article on nonrefoulement adopted by the Committee of the Whole did encounter substantial objections insofar as the Draft Convention explicitly prohibited rejection at the frontier of a person seeking asylum. The article was adopted by 45 votes for, 23 against, and 18 abstentions. A Grahl-Madsen, supra note 21, at 61.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Aga Khan, supra note 29, at 319.

    Google Scholar 

  40. G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 76.

    Google Scholar 

  41. For a discussion by Goodwin-Gill, see Goodwin-Gill, Nonrefoulement and the New Asylum Seekers, this volume.

    Google Scholar 

  42. G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 82.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Goodwin-Gill, Entry and Exclusion of Refugees: The Obligations of States and the Protection Function of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 1982 Mich. Y.B. Int’l Legal Stud. 291, 306.

    Google Scholar 

  44. G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 101-03.

    Google Scholar 

  45. The Refugee Act of 1980, § 208, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b) (1982), provides that asylum may be terminated if it is determined that the “alien is no longer a refugee within the meaning of section 101(a)(42)(A) owing to a change in circumstances in the alien’s country of nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, in the country in which the alien last habitually resided.”.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Although the opportunity for resettlement in a third country exists, this answer often never materializes. The asylum seeker will either be granted an indefinite stay in the receiving country or he will be returned home. Martin, Human Rights and the Movement of Persons, 78 Am. Soc’y Int’l L. Proc. 346, 349 (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  47. Declaration on Territorial Asylum, supra note 27, art. 3, para. 2.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Report of the United Nations Conference on Territorial Asylum, supra note 31. Article 3 provides that the benefit of asylum “may not be claimed by a person whom there are reasons for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is... or by a great number of persons whose massive influx may constitute a serious problem to the security of a Contracting State.”.

    Google Scholar 

  49. G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 95.

    Google Scholar 

  50. The 1951 Refugee Convention, supra note 2, art. 33, para. 2 states: The benefit of the present provision [on nonrefoulement] may not, however, be claimed by a refugee whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is, or who, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country.

    Google Scholar 

  51. See Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 570–71 (actions by Malaysia).

    Google Scholar 

  52. See Hofmann, supra note 24, at 2056.

    Google Scholar 

  53. See G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 97-98.

    Google Scholar 

  54. In the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases (W. Ger. v. Den.; W. Ger. v. Neth.), 19691.C.J. 3, 43, the International Court of Justice stated that an indispensible requirement [for determining customary international law] would be that within the period in question, short though it might be, State practice, including that of States whose interests are specially affected, should have been both extensive and virtually uniform in the sense of the provision invoked;-and should moreover have occurred in such a way as to show a general recognition that a rule of law or legal obligation is involved.

    Google Scholar 

  55. See also Bernhardt, Customary International Law, in 7 Encyclopedia of Public International Law 61, 64 (R. Bernhardt ed. 1984) (asserting that the Court’s view is “now widely accepted”).

    Google Scholar 

  56. See supra note 27.

    Google Scholar 

  57. See supra note 31.

    Google Scholar 

  58. W. Kälin, Das Prinzip des Non-Refoulement 80 n.352 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  59. Id. at 72, 83; see generally Asylum Case (Colom. v. Peru), 1950 I.C.J. 266, 276 (the development of regional customary law).

    Google Scholar 

  60. See 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, para. 17 (“The fundamental principle of non-refoulement... is an overriding legal principle having a normative character independent of international instruments.”); Note on International Protection, Thirty-fifth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, para. 15, U.N. Doc. A/AC.96/643 (1984) [hereinafter 1984 Note on International Protection] (nonrefoulement “is progressively acquiring the character of a peremptory norm of international law”).

    Google Scholar 

  61. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, para. 19.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Id. para. 37.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 35.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  66. See supra note 48.

    Google Scholar 

  67. See supra notes 12–14 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  68. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, para. 37.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Statute of the UNHCR, supra note 12, para. 8(a).

    Google Scholar 

  70. See Report on the Twenty-eighth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, para. 53(4), U.N. Doc. A/AC.96/549 (1977) (calling for recognition of nonrefoulement regardless of whether the person is a Convention refugee).

    Google Scholar 

  71. See Report of the Thirty-fifth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, para. 122(B)(f), U.N. Doc. A/AC.96/651 (1984) (calling on states to facilitate the admission of refugees).

    Google Scholar 

  72. Recommendations of international bodies may provide important supplementary means of determining whether a purported rule has in fact been generally accepted by the community of states. I. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law 675 (2d ed. 1973). Brownlie cautions, however, that the weight accorded such recommendations depends on the “nature of the particular decision and the extent to which legal matters were involved.” Id.

    Google Scholar 

  73. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15; 1984 Note on International Protection, supra note 53.

    Google Scholar 

  74. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, paras. 6, 37; 1984 Note on International Protection, supra note 53, para. 31.

    Google Scholar 

  75. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, paras. 19, 57.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Nov. 4, 1950, Europ. T.S. No. 5, 213 U.N.T.S. 222 [hereinafter European Convention on Human Rights].

    Google Scholar 

  77. Recommendation 293 on the right of asylum, Eur. Consult. Ass., 13th Sess. (1961); see also Report on the right of asylum, Eur. Consult. Ass., 13th Sess. (1961); see also Report on the right of asylum, Eur. Consult. Ass., 13th Sess., Doc. No. 1329 (1961) (citing Recommendation 293).

    Google Scholar 

  78. See Report on the granting of the right of asylum to European refugees, Explanatory Memorandum, para. 25, Eur. Consult. Ass., 17th Sess., Doc. No. 1986 (1965). Backing away from its earlier recommendation to include the draft article in a protocol to the Convention, the Consultative Assembly instead recommended that the Committee of Experts on Human Rights accelerate its efforts toward an agreement on asylum and that member states extend voluntarily the rights provided for in the article. Report on the granting of the right of asylum to European refugees, Draft Recommendation, para. 11, Eur. Consult. Ass. 17th Sess. Doc. No. 1986 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  79. Recommendation 773 on the situation of de facto refugees, Eur. Parl. Ass., 27th Sess. (1976).

    Google Scholar 

  80. See Recommendation 773 on the situation of de facto refugees; Explanatory Memorandum, para. 6, Eur. Parl. Ass., 27th Sess., Doc. No. 3642 (1975) (de facto refugees include those who are not recognized as refugees as defined in the 1951 Refugee Convention because, inter alia, “they are not familiar with the procedures existing for the recognition of refugees....”).

    Google Scholar 

  81. See id. para. 6, 32 (regarding the situation of de facto refugees).

    Google Scholar 

  82. Recommendation No. R(84)l on the protection of persons satisfying the criteria in the Geneva Convention who are not formally recognised as refugees, Explanatory Memorandum, para. 14, Council of Eur. Comm. of Ministers (1984) [hereinafter R(84)l Explanatory Memorandum].

    Google Scholar 

  83. Statute of the Council of Europe, May 5, 1949, arts. 13, 15, 87 U.N.T.S. 103.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Recommendation No. R(84)l on the protection of persons satisfying the criteria in the Geneva Convention who are not formally recognised as refugees, Council of Eur. Comm. of Ministers (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  85. R(84)l Explanatory Memorandum, supra note 75, para. 16.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Id. para. 18.

    Google Scholar 

  87. European Convention on Human Rights, supra note 69, art. 3.

    Google Scholar 

  88. Becker v. Denmark, 4 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 215, 233 (1975), 1976 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 416, 450-51; see infra notes 168-204 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2. See also Hartman, The Principle and Practice of Temporary Refuge: A Customary Norm Protecting Civilians Fleeing Internal Armed Conflict, this volume.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Perluss and Hartman define “temporary refuge” as a customary norm which “prohibits a state from forcibly repatriating foreign nationals who find themselves in its territory after having fled generalized violence and other threats to their lives and security caused by internal armed conflict within their own state.” Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 554.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Id. at 602.

    Google Scholar 

  92. Id. at 616.

    Google Scholar 

  93. Id. at 618.

    Google Scholar 

  94. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  95. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  96. Id. at 558-75.

    Google Scholar 

  97. See, e.g., Act of Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. No. 85-892, 72 Stat. 1712 (authorizing the issuance of 1,500 immigration visas to victims of the earthquake and volcanic eruptions in the Azores); Refugees, Apr. 1986, at 29 (donation of food by the United States and the European Community intended, in part, for refugees fleeing from neighboring countries into the Sudan).

    Google Scholar 

  98. See, e.g., Refugees, Nov. 1985, at 19 (Iran admitted all Afghans who requested asylum).

    Google Scholar 

  99. See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5)(A) (1982) (excerpted infra note 140); Melander, National Report on Sweden, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 1334, 1339 (Convention refugees are generally granted permanent residence while humanitarian refugees may be tolerated on a temporary basis); Shearer, National Report on Australia, id. at 71 (permanent residence permits granted except where the refugee fails to meet the criteria for permanent residence as stated in the Migration Amendment Act, No. 2, § 6A, 1980 Austl. Acts 1805).

    Google Scholar 

  100. See, e.g., Refugees, May 1986, at 16-17 (Laotians in Thai border camps); Refugees, Mar. 1986, at 19-28 (Ethiopians in Sudanese border camps).

    Google Scholar 

  101. See supra note 9 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  102. See supra note 39.

    Google Scholar 

  103. Martin, supra note 40, at 349.

    Google Scholar 

  104. For a discussion of the practice of South Pacific states regarding Vietnamese and Cambodian boat people, see Chooi Fong, Some Legal Aspects of the Search for Admission into Other States of Persons Leaving the Indo-Chinese Peninsula in Small Boats, 52 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 53 (1981).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  105. United States as a Country of Mass First Asylum: Hearings on Oversight on the Legal Status of the Cubans and Haitians who Have Entered the United States and the Policies and Procedures which Should be Adopted in Order to Handle Future Asylum Cases and Crimes Before the Subcomm. on Immigration and Refugee Policy of the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 28–29 (statement of David Hiller, Special Assistant to the Attorney General); see also Office of the U.N. High Comm’r for Refugees, Report by Mission to Monitor INS Asylum Processing of Salvador Illegal Entrants, reprinted in 128 Cong. Rec. 1698 (1982) (INS processing of Salavadoran illegal aliens); see generally Hanson, Behind the Paper Curtain: Asylum Policy Versus Asylum Practice, 7 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 107 (1978). It is not correct to quote the UNHCR’s observation as a “protest” against the United States’ failure to abide by an alleged new norm of temporary refuge. UNHCR “observations” were concerned with the application of the 1967 Refugee Protocol, which did not permit, in the UNHCR’s view, an unqualified refusal to grant asylum. In addition, the UNHCR’s reaction cannot be equated to formal protests raised by states.

    Google Scholar 

  106. 1985 Note on International Protection, supra note 15, para. 2.

    Google Scholar 

  107. Id. paras. 2–3; 1984 Note on International Protection, supra note 53, para. 18.

    Google Scholar 

  108. States of first refuge like Thailand have repeatedly taken this view. See Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 34 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12A), para. 30, U.N. Doc. A/34/12/Add.1 (1979) [hereinafter 1979 UNHCR Addendum]; see also Report on the Meeting of the Expert Group on Temporary Refuge in Situations of Large Scale Influx, U.N. Doc. EC/SCP/16/Add.1, at 7-10 (1981) (controversial discussion on international solidarity and burden-sharing in relation to temporary refuge). However, this discussion does not conflict with the statement contained in the 1979 High Commissioner’s report that “burden-sharing arrangements were not a precondition for the observance of established international principles for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers.” 1979 UNHCR Addendum, supra, para. 50.

    Google Scholar 

  109. G. Goodwin-Gill, supra note 19, at 114 n.69; see also Greig, The Protection of Refugees and Customary International Law, 8 Aust1. Y.B. Int’l L. 108, 127 (1983) (Thai government statement that it will continue to alleviate the plight of Indochinese displaced persons “as long as other countries continue to honor their commitments and fully share the burdens”).

    Google Scholar 

  110. Coles, Temporary Refuge and the Large-scale Influx of Refugees, 8 Austl. Y.B. Int’l L. 189 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  111. Hofmann, Refugee-Generating Policies and the Law of State Responsibility, 45 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht [ZaöRV] 694, 703 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  112. See infra note 132 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  113. See infra note 153 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  114. See infra notes 158-61 and accompanying text.

    Google Scholar 

  115. OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, Sept. 10, 1969, 1001 U.N.T.S. 45 [hereinafter OAU Convention]. For a discussion of the importance of national legislation in fulfilling the obligations assumed by member states under the OAU Convention, see Nobel, National Law and Model Legislation on the Rights and Protection of Refugees in Africa, in African Refugees and the Law 58 (G. Melander & P. Nobel eds. 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  116. OAU Convention, supra note 107, art. I, para. 2. The OAU Convention also incorporates the 1951 Refugee Convention definition of “refugee.” Id. art. I, para. 1.

    Google Scholar 

  117. Iluyomade, National Report on Nigeria, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 967-69; Ofosa-Amaah, National Report on Ghana, id. at 523–24. Nigerian administrative regulations based in large part on the recommendations of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme are in place to implement its international obligations under the OAU Convention. Iluyomade, supra, at 977–78. As of September 1985, however, the commentator was aware of no Nigerian cases in which either the applicant invoked or the court applied provisions of the OAU Convention. Id. at 969. In Ghana, the Minister of Internal Affairs applies the definition of “refugee” contained in the OAU Convention to determine who is entitled to refugee status. Ofosa-Amaah, supra, at 523-24.

    Google Scholar 

  118. Iluyomade, supra note 109, at 978; Ofosa-Amaah, supra note 109, at 523.

    Google Scholar 

  119. OAU Convention, supra note 107, art. I, para. 4.

    Google Scholar 

  120. Id. art. I, para. 5.

    Google Scholar 

  121. Id. art. I, para. 6.

    Google Scholar 

  122. The Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, June 27, 1981, reprinted in 211.L.M. 59 (1982), prohibits mass expulsion of aliens directed against national, ethnic, racial, or religious groups. This provision, as well as the OAU Convention, has not prevented the expulsion of Nigerians from Cameroon and of Ghanaians from the Ivory Coast. See Doehring, Die Rechtsnatur der Massenausweisung unter besonderer Berü cksichtigung der indirekten Ausweisung, 45 ZaöRV 372, 375 & n.12 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  123. Obinna-Okere, The Protection of Human Rights in Africa and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: A Comparative Analysis with the European and American Systems, 6 Hum. Rts. Q. 141, 147 (1984). Collective expulsion of aliens is also prohibited by article 4 of Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Sept. 16, 1963, Europ. T.S. No. 46. For history and meaning of this provision.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  124. see Drzemczewski, Aliens and the European Human Rights Convention: A General Survey, 2 Notre Dame Int’l & Comp. L.J. 99, 108 (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  125. Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 40 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12A), U.N. Doc. A/40/12/Add.1 (1985) [hereinafter 1985 UNHCR Addendum]; Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12A), U.N. Doc. A/39/12/Add.1 (1984) [hereinafter 1984 UNHCR Addendum.].

    Google Scholar 

  126. At the Thirty-sixth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, Mr. Moussalli, the Director of International Protection, outlined the recent severe restrictive responses that states took with regard to mass influxes of refugees, such as border closings and denials of requests for temporary asylum. 1985 UNHCR Addendum, supra note 115, paras. 59–63. In focusing on the growing problem of refugees who have fled their native country “due to serious upheavals or armed conflict,” several speakers expressed the view that these persons “could be granted humanitarian treatment on the basis of national legislation and that it was, therefore, not necessary to broaden the refugee definition in order to take account of their needs.” Id. para. 75. Other delegations pointed to the difficulties arising out of large-scale arrival of persons “who were clearly not refugees.” Id. para. 76. Repeatedly, the importance of solutions “based on principles of international solidarity and burden-sharing” was stressed. Id. para. 79.

    Google Scholar 

  127. Id. para. 112.

    Google Scholar 

  128. Id. para. 115(1)(a)-(e).

    Google Scholar 

  129. Id. para. 115(1)(f).

    Google Scholar 

  130. 1984 UNHCR Addendum, supra note 115.

    Google Scholar 

  131. Id. para. 61.

    Google Scholar 

  132. Id. para. 81.

    Google Scholar 

  133. Id. para. 87(1)(b).

    Google Scholar 

  134. Note on the Consultations on the Arrivals of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in Europe, U.N. Doc. A/AC.96/INF.174 (1985). The Note submitted by the High Commissioner summarizes the discussion as follows: There was general agreement that persons...who leave their countries in order to escape from severe internal upheavals or armed conflicts... should be treated humanely and, in particular should not be returned to areas where they may be exposed to danger. Such humane treatment could be provided within the framework of existing legal structures. These were considered adequate and there did not appear to be any need to revise the international refugee instruments.

    Google Scholar 

  135. Id. annex V at 1-2.

    Google Scholar 

  136. “From the standpoint of International Law..., municipal laws are merely facts which express the will and constitute the activities of States, in the same manner as do legal decisions or administrative measures.” Certain German Interests in Polish Upper Silesia (Ger. v. Pol.), 1926 P.C.I J. (Ser. A), No. 7, at 19 (May 25). In Filartiga v. Peña-Irala, 630 F.2d 876, 884 (2d Cir. 1980), the court referred to a consensus of municipal laws prohibiting torture as further evidence of customary international law.

    Google Scholar 

  137. Act 38/80 of Aug. 1, 1980, art. 5, para. 2, amended by Act 415/83 of Nov. 24, 1983 (Port.).

    Google Scholar 

  138. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  139. Silveira, National Report on Portugal, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 1293.

    Google Scholar 

  140. Swart, National Report on the Netherlands, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 905.

    Google Scholar 

  141. Id. at 905, 907.

    Google Scholar 

  142. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  143. Melander, supra note 92, at 1334. Section 6 of the Alien’s Act of 1975 provides that aliens who are not recognized as Convention refugees but who do not wish to return to their country of origin because of the political situation should be granted residence permits. Three categories of these so-called de facto refugees have emerged in practice: those who qualify as Convention refugees but fear recognition as such for personal reasons; those whom Sweden does not wish to recognize as Convention refugees in view of the potential effect on foreign relations; and those who, although professing a well-founded fear of persecution, fail to qualify as Convention refugees for lack of proof. Id. at 1333, 1334.

    Google Scholar 

  144. Id. at 1334.

    Google Scholar 

  145. See Deutscher Bundestag, 10 Wahlperiode, Drucksache 10/3346 (1985) (W. Ger.). In 1984 and 1985, more than sixty percent of asylum seekers in the Federal Republic of Germany came from countries to which they will not be deported regardless of the outcome of the asylum procedure. Id.; see Hailbronner, National Report on the Federal Republic of Germany, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 410.

    Google Scholar 

  146. Id. An exception to this general rule is provided by Ausländergesetz, art. 22, 1965 Bundesgesetzblatt, Teil I [BGB1.I] 353 (W. Ger.), which permits the Minister of the Interior to admit aliens if political, humanitarian, or international legal considerations so require. This article does not create a legal entitlement to admission. B. Huber, Ausländer und Asylrecht 152 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  147. K. Hailbronner, Ausländerrecht paras. 978-980 (1984). This prohibition originated from the Ausländergesetz, art. 14, para. 1, 1965 BGB 1.1 353 (W. Ger.), which proscribes the expulsion of an alien to any country where his life or freedom is threatened because of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political beliefs.

    Google Scholar 

  148. See Grundgesetz art. 25 (W. Ger.) (providing that international law has the force of law in the Federal Republic of Germany). The Bundestag in 1978 proposed a resolution to grant temporary refuge to refugees who do not meet the requirements under the terms of the 1951 Refugee Convention “as far as the possibilities of the Federal Republic of Germany permit such assistance.” This clearly indicates that no binding legal obligation was intended. See Deutscher Bundestag, 8 Wahlperiode, Drucksache 8/1945 (1978) (W. Ger.).

    Google Scholar 

  149. Vincent, National Report on France, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 490.

    Google Scholar 

  150. Plender, National Report on the United Kingdom, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 1715 (citing Rajamanie v. Secretary of State (Nov. 8, 1984) (immigration adjudication)).

    Google Scholar 

  151. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5)(A)(1982) provides that “the Attorney General may... in his discretion parole into the United States temporarily under such conditions as he may prescribe for emergent reasons or for reasons deemed strictly in the public interest any alien applying for admission to the United States....” For a complete enumeration of all situations in which the parole power had previously been exercised, see S. Rep. No. 256, 96th Cong., 1st Sess. (1979). For a discussion of the parole of Cubans and Indochinese into the United States in the 1970’s, see Schmidt, Development of United States Refugee Policy, 28 Imm. & Naturalization Serv. Rep. 1,1-2 (1979). In theory, a parolee may remain in the United States only as long as the conditions giving rise to parole still exist. INS v. Stanisic, 395 U.S. 62, 71 (1969).

    Google Scholar 

  152. U.S. Imm. & Naturalization Serv., Operations Instructions para. 242.10e(3)(1979), reprinted in 4 C. Gordon & H. Rosenfield, Immigration Law and Procedure 23-488.5 (1981); see also Aleinikoff, National Report on the United States, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 1604 (discussion of extended voluntary departure). Extended voluntary departure (EVD) is “an extra-statutory form of discretionary relief from the deportation provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended.” Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union v. Smith, 594 F. Supp. 502, 505 (D.D.C. 1984), appeal pending, 808 F.2d 847 (D.C. Cir. 1987). It appears that the use of EVD is not open-ended. In 1979, for example, after realizing that many groups of aliens qualified for EVD treatment, the State Department began to resist the addition of new groups for fear that the list would never stop growing. Martin, Mass Migration of Refugees-Law and Policy, 76 Am. Soc’y Int’l L. Proc. 13, 17-18 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  153. Aleinikoff, supra note 141, at 1645.

    Google Scholar 

  154. Cf. Act of Oct. 28, 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-145, 91 Stat. 1223 (granting permanent residence to Indochinese who had been present in the United States for two years); Act of Nov. 2, 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-732, 80 Stat. 1161 (same for Cubans).

    Google Scholar 

  155. See Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union v. Smith, 594 F. Supp. 502, 508 (D.D.C. 1984) (Attorney General explicitly based his decision not to grant extended voluntary departure to Salvadorans in part on considerations of foreign policy), appeal pending, 808 F.2d 847 (D.C.Cir. 1987).

    Google Scholar 

  156. See Martin, supra note 141, at 17 (extended voluntary departure granted to Ethiopians and Nicaraguans); Temporary Suspension of Deportation of Certain Aliens: Hearings on H.R. 4447 Before the Subcomm. on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law of the House Comm. on the Judiciary, 98th Cong., 2d Sess. 17 (1984) [hereinafter Hearings on Temporary Suspension of Deportation] (statement of Rep. Joe Moakley) (stating that the INS had granted extended voluntary departure status to Poles and Afghans).

    Google Scholar 

  157. Hearings on Temporary Suspension of Deportation, supra note 145, at 72-73 (statement of Elliot Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs).

    Google Scholar 

  158. Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union v. Smith, 594 F. Supp. 502 (D.D.C. 1984) (finding that the desire to discourage illegal immigration partly justified the Attorney General’s denial of extended voluntary departure).

    Google Scholar 

  159. See Caribbean Migration: Oversight Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law of the House Comm. on the Judiciary, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 207-11 (1980) (statement of Stephen E. Palmer, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs).

    Google Scholar 

  160. See, e.g., Zepeda-Melendez v. INS, 741 F.2d 285 (9th Cir. 1984); Chavez v. INS, 723 F.2d 1431 (9th Cir. 1984); see Aleinikoff, supra note 141, at 1640.

    Google Scholar 

  161. Martinez-Romero v. INS, 692 F.2d 595, 595-96 (9th Cir. 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  162. Bolanos-Hernandez v. INS, 767 F.2d 1277 (9th Cir. 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  163. Id. at 1284.

    Google Scholar 

  164. Thü rer, National Report on Switzerland, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 1420 (citing Asylum Law of Oct. 5, 1979, art. 3, Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts [SR] 142.31, Recueil systématique du droit fédéral [RS] 142.31, Raccolta sistematica del diritto fédérale [RS] 142.31 (Switz.), which defines a refugee as an alien who, in effect, satisfies the requirements for refugee status contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention).

    Google Scholar 

  165. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  166. Id. (citing Lois fédérales sur le séjour et l’établissement d’étrangers du Mar. 26, 1931, art. 14, para. 2, SR 142.20, RS 142.20, RS 142.20 (Switz.); Ordonnance sur l’internment d’étrangers du Aug. 14, 1968, art. 3, SR 142.281, RS 142.281, RS 142.281 (Switz.)).

    Google Scholar 

  167. See, e.g., Refugees, June 1985, at 18 (mentioning the arrival of between fifty and one hundred Tamil refugees every month). More than 2,000 Tamil asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka were permitted to remain in Switzerland following a decision at the end of 1984 that the political situation in Sri Lanka was not conducive to repatriation. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  168. Darwich v. Minister of Migration & Immigration, 1 F.C. 365 (Can. 1979).

    Google Scholar 

  169. Immigration Act, 1976, ch. 52, § 6(2), 1976-77 Can. Stat. 1193. Section 6(2) provides: Any Convention refugee and any person who is a member of a class designated by the Governor in Council as a class, the admission of members of which would be in accordance with Canada’s humanitarian traditions with respect to the displaced and persecuted, may be granted admission subject to such regulations as may be established with respect thereto and notwithstanding any other regulations made under this Act.

    Google Scholar 

  170. See Indochinese Designated Class Regulations, Self-Exiled Persons Class Regulations, Political Prisoners and Oppressed Persons Designated Class Regulations, reprinted in The Annotated Immigration Act of Canada 205-14 (F. Marrocco ed. 1984). The Indochinese class regulations provided for admission of citizens of Kampuchea, Laos, and Vietnam who must meet certain criteria, including the inability or unwillingness to return to their country and the ability to successfully establish themselves in Canada. The regulations relating to self-exiled persons applied to citizens of Eastern European countries and Haiti who met the same criteria. The oppressed persons regulations contained similar provisions in favor of citizens of Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Poland, and Uruguay, and who were detained or imprisoned for more than 72 hours as a result of trade union activity or political dissent. All three sets of regulations were in effect until December 31, 1985.

    Google Scholar 

  171. de Mestrael, National Report on Canada, Heidelberg Colloquium, supra note 24, at 827-29.

    Google Scholar 

  172. Shearer, supra note 92, at 68. The quotas for 1983–84 were approximately 10,000 for Indochinese, 2,500 for Eastern Europeans, 2,500 for Latin Americans and East Timorese, and 1,000 for other special humanitarian cases. A contingency quota of 4,500 additional places was also established. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  173. Id. at 70-71. This absence of a distinction may be attributable to the fact that the term “refugee” has not been defined in Australian law. Australia has not adopted by statute the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Refugee Protocol. Id.

    Google Scholar 

  174. Migration Amendment Act, No. 2, § 6A, 1980 Austl. Acts 1805. The Act grants the Minister of Immigration authority to issue in his discretion an entry permit for permanent residence to a humanitarian refugee who holds a temporary entry permit and where “strong compassionate and humanitarian grounds” argue for issuance. Shearer, supra note 92, at 71.

    Google Scholar 

  175. Id. at 71 (citing Znaty v. Minister of Immigration, 126 C.L.R. 1 (Austl. 1972)).

    Google Scholar 

  176. Martin, supra note 7, at 609.

    Google Scholar 

  177. Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 611.

    Google Scholar 

  178. Martin, supra note 7, at 609.

    Google Scholar 

  179. Frowein & Kühner, Drohende Folterung als Asylgrund und Grenze fü r Auslieferung und Ausweisung, 43 ZaöRV 537, 549 (1983); see also Haug, Internationale Konventionen gegen die Folter, in Studies and Essays on International Humanitarian Law and Red Cross Principles in Honour of Jean Pictet 713, 714-17 (C. Swinarski ed. 1984) (discussing the use of a principle against torture in various national laws and multilateral conventions).

    Google Scholar 

  180. Trechsel, Probleme und aktueller Stand der Bemü hungen um eine UN-Konvention gegen die Folter, 33 Österreichische Zeitschrift fü r öffentliches Recht and Völkerrecht 245, 247-56, 265-66 (1982) (arguing for a convention against torture because torture contravenes elementary human rights). For a comprehensive discussion of the various draft conventions, see Danelius, Entwurf der Schwedischen Regierung fü r eine internationle Konvention gegen die Folter, in Internationale Konventionen gegen die Folter 35 (A. Riklin ed. 1979) [hereinafter Riklin ed.]; Thoolen, Entwurf der Internationalen Vereinigung fü r eine internationale Konvention gegen die Folter, in Riklin ed., supra, at 41; Trechsel, Privater Schweizer Entwurf fü r eine internationale Konvention gegen die Folter, in Riklin ed., supra, at 45; Riklin, Vergleich der Entwü rfe fü r eine Internationale Konvention gegen die Folter, in Riklin ed., supra, at 55.

    Google Scholar 

  181. Frowein & Kü hner, supra note 168, at 549; see Bassiouni, An Appraisal of Torture in International Law and Practice: The Need for an International Convention for the Prevention and Suppression of Torture, Revue Internationale de Droit Pénal, Nos. 3 & 4, at 17, 74-78, 213-43 (1977); Haug, Das Folterverbot im universellen Friedensvölkerrecht, in Riklin ed., supra note 168, at 63.

    Google Scholar 

  182. See, e.g., Filartiga v. Peña-Irala, 630 F.2d 876, 882-85 (2d Cir. 1980); Judgment of Mar. 22, 1983, Bundesgericht, Switz., 109 Entscheidungen des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts, Amtliche Sammlung [BGE Ib] 64, 72; Judgment of Feb. 23, 1983, Bundesverfassungsgericht, W. Ger., 63 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 197,211.

    Google Scholar 

  183. See Garvey, Toward a Reformulation of International Refugee Law, 26 Harv. Int’l L.J. 483, 487-88 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  184. 1951 Refugee Convention, supra note 2, art. 33. For a discussion of article 33, see supra notes 17-46 and accompanying text. Indeed, the question of the limits of the obligation of states not to expel or deport aliens is central to this essay.

    Google Scholar 

  185. Judgment of Mar. 22, 1983, Bundesgericht, Switz., 109 BGE Ib 64, 71-73; Judgment of May 17, 1983, Bundesverwaltungsgericht, W. Ger., 67 Entscheidungen des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts 184, 195; Judgment of Mar. 9, 1983, Bundesverfassungsgericht, W. Ger., 63 BVerfGE 332, 337. For the German practice, see K. Hailbronner, supra note 136, paras. 614-620.

    Google Scholar 

  186. Judgment of Mar. 22, 1983, Bundesgericht, Switz., 109 BGE Ib 64, 72; Judgment of Mar. 9, 1983, Bundesverfassungsgericht, W. Ger. 63 BVerfGE 332, 337-38.

    Google Scholar 

  187. European Convention on Human Rights, supra note 69, art. 3. Article 3 provides: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”.

    Google Scholar 

  188. X v. Federal Republic of Germany, 1 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 73, 75 (1974). 1974 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 480, 488-90.

    Google Scholar 

  189. See 1 Strasbourg Case Law Relating to the European Convention on Human Rights 117-55 (1985) [hereinafter Strasbourg Digest] (survey of cases examining whether extradition, expulsion, deportation, repatriation, or transfer to another country for trial constitutes inhuman or degrading treatment); J. Frowein & W. Peukert, Menschenrechtskonvention 36 (1985); W. Kälin, supra note 51, at 158.

    Google Scholar 

  190. See Kälin, Drohende Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Heimatstaat als Schranke der Rü ckschiebung gemäß Art. 3 EMRK, 1986 Zeitschrift fü r Ausländerrecht und Ausländerpolitik (ZAR) 172.

    Google Scholar 

  191. The Greek Case (Den. v. Greece; Nor. v. Greece; Swed. v. Greece; Neth. v. Greece), 1969 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 186 (report to Council of Eur. Comm. of Ministers).

    Google Scholar 

  192. X v. Sweden, No. 9105/80 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. July 6, 1986) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 154-55.

    Google Scholar 

  193. Ireland v. United Kingdom, 25 Eur. Ct. H.R. (ser. A) 66, 58 I.L.R. 188, 266 (1978).

    Google Scholar 

  194. See X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 3713/68 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 4, 1968) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 124.

    Google Scholar 

  195. Drzemczewski, supra note 114, at 115.

    Google Scholar 

  196. See X v. United Kingdom, No. 8581/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 6, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 152; J. Frowein & W. Peukert, supra note 177, at 38.

    Google Scholar 

  197. See X. v. Switzerland, 24 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 205, 219 (1980), 1981 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 378, 390; X v. Sweden, No. 9105/80 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. July 6, 1981), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 154-55; X & Y v. United Kingdom, No. 8704/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 20,1981) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 154; X v. United Kingdom, No. 8008/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 17, 1981) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 153-54; X & Y v. United Kingdom, No. 8897/80 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 12, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 152-53; X v. Sweden, No. 8823/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 12, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 142, 153; X v. United Kingdom, No. 8581/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 6, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 152; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 8647/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 12, 1979) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 151-52; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 8495/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 2, 1979) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 142; Lynas v. Switzerland, 6 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 141, 165-66 (1976), 1977 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 412, 436-38; X & Y v. Switzerland, 9 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 57, 71-74 (1977), 1977 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 372, 400-08; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 8113/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Dec. 15, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 150; X v. Netherlands, No. 8088/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Dec. 15, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 149-50; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 8063/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Dec. 15, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 150-51; X v. United Kingdom, No. 8801/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Dec. 12, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 148-49; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7704/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 11, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 147; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7691/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 11, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 147; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7638/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 10, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 146–47; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7777/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 1, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 145-46; Agee v. United Kingdom, 7 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 164, 172-73 (1976); X v. Denmark, 7 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 153, 155 (1976); X v. Federal Republic of Germany, 5 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 154, 154-55 (1976); Becker v. Denmark, 4 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 215, 233-35 (1975), 1976 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. Oct. 8, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 144; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7507/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 8, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 144; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7621/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 7, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 143-44; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7333/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 7, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 142-43; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7495/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. May 21, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 140; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7332/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 9, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 140; J. Frowein & W. Peukert, supra note 177, at 36.

    Google Scholar 

  198. X v. United Kingdom, No. 8581/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 6, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 152; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 8647/79 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 12, 1979) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 151-52.

    Google Scholar 

  199. X v. United Kingdom, No. 8081/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Dec. 12, 1977) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 148-49.

    Google Scholar 

  200. Becker v. Denmark, 4 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 215, 233-35 (1975), 1976 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 416, 450-54.

    Google Scholar 

  201. X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7333/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Oct. 7, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 142-43.

    Google Scholar 

  202. X v. Netherlands, No. 8099/77 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. July 10, 1978) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 125-26; X v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 7495/76 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. May 21, 1976) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 125-26; X v. Denmark, 7 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 153, 154-55 (1976); X v. Federal Republic of Germany, 5 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 154, 154-55 (1976); X v. Federal Republic of Germany, 32 Eur. Comm’n H.R. 87, 94-95 (1969), 1970 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 806, 822-24.

    Google Scholar 

  203. X & Y v. United Kingdom, No. 8897/80 (Eur. Comm’n of Hum. Rts. Mar. 12, 1980) (decision as to the admissibility of application), reported in 1 Strasbourg Digest 153.

    Google Scholar 

  204. The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, G.A. Res. 39/46 Annex, art. 3, para. 1, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 198, U.N. Doc. A/39/51 (1984) [hereinafter U.N. Convention Against Torture], provides that “no State Party shall expel, return (‘refouler’) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” Under this Convention, “[f]or the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.” Id. art. 3, para. 2. The Convention entered into force on June 26, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  205. For decisions in which the European Commission of Human Rights denied applications of individuals’ petitions under article 3, see supra note 185.

    Google Scholar 

  206. See supra note 185.

    Google Scholar 

  207. Applications involving the rights of aliens under article 3 typically concern deportation and extradition cases, and only rarely relate to refusals of entry. For one major exception, see Drzemczewski, supra note 114, at 120 (non-admission for racial reasons). 196.Giama v. Belgium, 21 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 73 (1980), 1980 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 428.

    Google Scholar 

  208. Id. at 85-87, 1980 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. at 428-32; Drzemczewski, supra note 114, at 118.

    Google Scholar 

  209. “Refugees in orbit” are persons “dispatched from one state to another upon the premise that each successive destination is considered by the last to be the country which should examine the request [for asylum].” Perluss & Hartman, supra note 2, at 623 n.328 (quoting Council of Eur., Human Rights Files No. 9: Problems raised by certain aspects of the present situation of refugees from the standpoint of the European Convention on Human Rights 9 (1984)).

    Google Scholar 

  210. See 1 G. Dahm, Völkerrecht 288 (1958); A. Verdross & B. Simma, Universelles Völkerrecht: Theorie und Praxis §§ 1211, 1230 (3d ed. 1984).

    Google Scholar 

  211. U.N. Convention Against Torture, supra note 192, art. 3, para. 1. For the text of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, see supra note 175.

    Google Scholar 

  212. Id. art. 1, para. 1.

    Google Scholar 

  213. For the text of article 3 of the U.N. Convention Against Torture, see supra note 192.

    Google Scholar 

  214. U.N. Convention Against Torture, supra note 192, art. 16, para. 2.

    Google Scholar 

  215. See supra note 201 and accompanying text. The drafting history of the Convention shows that corporal punishment, particularly under Islamic penal law, extremely cruel or degrading as it may be as practiced in some countries, was to be excluded from the scope of the Convention. Based on standards which have been widely accepted in the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 Annex, 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316, and many regional human rights instruments, this exception seems to be unacceptable. The definition, however, indicates how difficult it may be to agree in substance on human rights obligations restricting the rights of states to proceed with their nationals according to their own religious or moral standards. Even stronger objections may apply concerning the rights of states to regulate the entry and termination of stay of aliens.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 1988 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Hailbronner, K. (1988). Nonrefoulement and “Humanitarian” Refugees: Customary International Law or Wishful Legal Thinking?. In: Martin, D.A. (eds) The New Asylum Seekers: Refugee Law in the 1980s. International Studies in Human Rights. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-6389-9_9

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-6389-9_9

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-017-6391-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-017-6389-9

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive