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UNHCR and international refugee law: From treaties to innovation.

Lewis, Corinne (2010) UNHCR and international refugee law: From treaties to innovation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Since its establishment in January 1951, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has played a unique and pivotal role related to international refugee law. The thesis explores the bases for this role and the approaches adopted by UNHCR to strengthen its role since the onset of the crisis in refugee protection in the 1980's. UNHCR's creation of doctrinal positions, that is, the organisation's written views of what refugee law should be, are featured as a crucial means employed by UNHCR to further the elaboration of the refugee law framework. UNHCR's innovative approaches related to States' accession, implementation, and application of international standards for the protection of refugees, such as capacity-building, are highlighted as means to enhance the effectiveness of international refugee law. The thesis commences with an overview of the historical and statutory foundations for UNHCR's role related to international refugee law, in chapter 1. The content of UNHCR's responsibilities, which concern the development and effectiveness of international refugee law, and the work the organisation carries out in order to fulfil these responsibilities, are explored in chapter 2. The flexibility in UNHCR's international law role, attributable to formal means to modify UNHCR's responsibilities and techniques adopted by the organisation, is elaborated in chapter 3. The increasing divergence between UNHCR's and States' approaches to refugee law, with the significant consequence that the weaknesses in the treaty law framework and in the means for ensuring its effectiveness, particularly its application, have become increasingly prominent, are the subject of chapter 4. The approaches adopted by UNHCR to address the weaknesses in the treaty law framework are evaluated in chapter 5 while the new activities carried out by UNHCR to strengthen the effectiveness of international refugee law are reviewed in the final chapter, chapter 6.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Law and Relations, Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2200

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