Critical International Migration Law - LAWS9000

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Sian Lewis checkmark-circle


The module examines the complex sets of laws and policies that inform the varied field of migration law with regard to the variety of its subjects. In particular, the module examines the context and history of controlling migration internationally; the role of the concept and practices of state sovereignty in conjunction with the development of international protections and regulations; the critical evaluation of international labour migration law, international asylum and refugee law, forced labour and human trafficking. In addition, the module offers, each year, a series of case studies on particularly prevalent contemporary issues such as environmental displacement, internal displacement, extraterritoriality and indefinite detention.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 180
Total study hours: 200


Canterbury - LLM in (Specialisation); PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law
Brussels - LLM in (Specialisation); PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay, 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument, 100% Coursework.

Indicative reading

• B. Chinmi, International Refugee Law: A Reader (2000)
• E. Feller, V. Türk and F. Nicholson (eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003)
• M. Gibney, The Ethics and Politics of Asylum: Liberal Democracy and the Responses to Refugees Cambridge University Press (2004)
• G. Goodwin Gill, & McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (3rd ed., 2007)
• T. Kushner and Knox, K. Refugees In An Age Of Genocide: Global, National And Local Perspectives During The Twentieth Century, Frank
Cass, London (1999)
• B. Opeskin et al, Foundations of International Migration Law, (2012)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge and understanding of the main sources of international migration law.
2. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge and understanding of the systems for the international protection of migrants, refugees and asylum
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main international treaties which relate to migration.
4. Critically evaluate the political and philosophical discourses attached to contemporary international migration.
5. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the theoretical and interdisciplinary critiques of international migration law.
6. Locate and utilise complex primarily legal and comparative materials to formulate a complex legal argument concerning state practice.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify and critically evaluate relevant issues from complex factual situations;
2. Conduct sustained and detailed independent legal research using a range of resources, both paper and electronic;
3. Summarise detailed and complex bodies of information concisely and accurately;
4. Present information and arguments in written form, in accordance with academic conventions, and appropriately to the intended
5. Critically evaluate law both doctrinally and in terms of its socio-economic, theoretical and political consequences.


Stage 1


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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