Migration and refugees: Law, Ethics and Institutional Responses
Thursday, 6 July, 2017
Friday May 19th 2017.
This one-day conference brought together scholars from Law, Philosophy and Political Science for a stimulating discussion of different aspects of international immigration. Liam Thornton (UCD, Law) opened the workshop with a discussion and analysis of the system of Direct Provision through which the Irish state deals with asylum applicants. Although it is not a system of detention, Thornton noted that Direct Provision is nonetheless harmful to the 4,500 asylum seekers in the system and that there have been few successful legal challenges to the way the system operates. Julia Sardelic (Liverpool, Law) discussed the legally anomalous and “hyper-temporary” situation of refugees passing through transit countries on the West Balkan route to Germany. Iseult Honohan (UCD, Politics) discussed the ethics of family migration schemes - which currently accounts for around 30% of immigration - arguing against proposals to trade-off family migration against refugees given the moral importance of both.
Graham Finlay (UCD, Politics) presented a paper arguing against recent philosophical proposals for a human right to immigrate on the basis that the existing human rights framework can address the most important harms and deprivations much better. Andre Grahle (Munich, Philosophy) discussed the question of German citizens’ responsibilities to Syrian refugees, proposing a novel account of a responsibility to hear witnesses’ testimony about the injustices they were fleeing. Guy Aitchison (UCD, Politics) discussed migrant collective action and resistance to the regime of international border controls understood as a dominating legal, economic and political structure. Finally, in the concluding talk, Gillian Wylie (Trinity, Peace Studies) offered an incisive analysis of the “securitsation” of migration in recent public discourse and proposed that a peace studies approach to migration offers a superior paradigm to address the issue.
Dr. Julia Sardelic (School of Law, Liverpool University)
Dr. Guy Aitchinson (Postdoctoral Scholar, UCD SPIRe)