Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Migration and Asylum Law
Academic Year
Distance Learning

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other Private study on DL units; Preparation and submission of written assignment; Additional research and private study


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Module Assessment  Written Assignment of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Display a knowledge and understanding of the underlying rationale and methodology of this area of law at the international and European levels.
2. Display a knowledge and understanding of the relationship between criminal law and human rights protection, as well as the related legal interests of the State and individuals, within the international and European legal orders.
3. Critically evaluate and test the arguments relating to the need for international regulation of migration and asylum.
4. Locate and evaluate the relevant literature and materials in this field and use them in critical discussion of the subject.
5. Present critical and well-informed argument relating to the establishment and development of international and European legal regimes for the regulation and management of migration and asylum.

Brief description

Academic rationale of the proposal:

Asylum and migration is one of the key challenges to developed and lesser developed States throughout the world. Yet the crucial legal rights and obligations that underpin them are not often appreciated in what is sometimes a very emotional debate. This module reponds to the need for increased understanding and awareness of these core issues.

Brief Description:

This module will introduce students to the legal regime with regard to two distinct yet closely related issues: regular and irregular migration, under international law and European Union law; and the law with regard to 'international protection'. In the absence of well organized migration channels in most States, many migrants resort either to irregular migration, such as with the assistance of people smugglers, or else to claiming asylum on human rights grounds. The module asseses the principal legal issues with regard to regular and irregular migration, including the right of States to control their frontiers and their obligations to accept certain categories of migrants, including asylum seekers, as well as the obligations of States with regards to how they treat such people. It also addresses the legal regime with regard to people smuggling and people trafficking, widely recognized as not only a threat to fundamental human rights but also as a major challenge to national and international security and stability.

The module then addresses the law of asylum, both with regard to refugees in the narrow sense but also with regard to those who do not qualify as refugees but nevertheless have an entitlement to international protection, i.e., an entitlement, on human rights grounds, to remain in a foreign State.


Migration Law - the international and European Union legal regimes with regard to regular and irregular migration, including the rights of migrant workers. This includes aspects of human rights law and the law of the World Trade Organization.
Smuggling of Human Beings - outlines and discusses the emerging legal regime from a human rights and criminal law perspective.
Trafficking of Human Beings - outlines the rapidly evolving and substantial recent developments from a human rights and a criminal law perspective, including international criminal law.
Law of International Protection - the definition of a refugee and the content of that definition; varying national legal approaches to asylum seekers; definition of subsidiary, or complementary, protection; the emerging EU common asylum system; the role of general human rights instruments, in particular those prohibiting torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
Statelessness resulting from migration and the obligations of source and destination States.
The role of non-governmental organizations and international organizations, such as International Organization for Migration, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International, La Strada, Terre des Hommes and KARAT Coalition.


This module is at CQFW Level 7