Blog post

Publication details

The Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, or: how explosive existing law can be
in: Völkersrechtblog

Year: 2017
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Author(s) details

Dana Schmalz

Publication description

Michigan Guidelines
The Michigan Guidelines are a document in which legal scholars summarize the existing international laws of refugee protection on one particular aspect. They are “just” an expert opinion – yet by no means insignificant in that capacity. They are used by courts interpreting the law and thus stand themselves at the threshold of the legal. At any rate the guidelines can frame debates about the legality of state actions in the area of refugee protection and migration control. They summarize the relevant provisions and offer an interpretation, which, although of course not undisputable, is grounded in a broad consensus and anything but eccentric. The Guidelines appear every two years on different topics, the ones of this year dealing with Refugee Freedom of Movement – possibly the most pressing among the many pressing issues of the field at the moment. Free movement of refugees constitutes a subject area in which current state practices in several cases clash with existing international law: regarding the detention of refugees, restrictions on their mobility in the host state, or regarding measures of deterrence and border security.