Refugee Law at Sea

Barnes, R. (2004) Refugee Law at Sea. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 53 (1). pp. 47-77. ISSN 0020-5893

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Coping with refugees arriving by sea is a problem that has existed for a number of years. Throughout this period the crux of the matter has remained the same, reconciling the humanitarian plight of refugees and asylum-seekers with the destination States' concerns about illegal immigration, mass migrations of people, and the costs of asylum. The boarding of the Tampa by Australian SAS troops in August 2001, in order to prevent the disembarkation of 433 asylum-seekers on Christmas Island, has once again brought into sharp focus the acute tension created between competing legal norms, and between moral and legal considerations. What are the rights of vessels and people in distress under the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and other maritime agreements? How do commercial considerations affect the obligation to assist those in distress at sea? What are the rights of refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention and other human rights instruments? What are the powers of a coastal State to protect itself from threats to national security in its coastal waters? This article examines the legal obligations incumbent upon coastal States and flag States in respect of asylum-seekers rescued at sea and seeks to answer these questions. It goes on to suggest that the law in respect of search, rescue, and refuge is highly unsatisfactory because a number of key obligations are poorly defined and inadequately implemented. It alsoseems clear that insufficient weight is given to humanitarian considerations. Finally, consideration is given to possible solutions to the problem

Additional Information:Unmapped bibliographic data: JA - Int.Comp.Law Q. [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Keywords:International law, Refugees, search and rescue, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, law of the sea
Subjects:M Law > M100 Law by area
M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
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ID Code:41371
Deposited On:08 Sep 2020 10:18

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