Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


The following essay is excerpted from the Epilogue to The Rights of Refugees Under International Law by James C. Hathaway.© James c. Hathaway 2005 (Cambridge University Press). Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press. Totaling nearly 1,200 pages and a decade in the making, The Rights of Refugees Under International Law links standards of the UN Refugee Convention to norms of international human rights law and applies this to empirical analyses of some of the world's most difficult protection challanges.

Governments in all parts of the world are withdrawing in practice from meeting the legal duty to provide refugees with the protection they require. While states continue to proclaim a willingness to assist refugees as a matter of political discretion or humanitarian goodwill, many appear committed to a pattern of defensive strategies designed to avoid international legal responsibility toward involuntary migrants.