The allocation of asylum seekers based on supra- and international agreements on refugee responsibility

Research project by Prof. Dr. Anna Lübbe (funded by Stiftung Merkator)

One topical issue of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) is the allocation of refugee responsibility. The Geneva Convention does not prescribe how to allocate asylum seekers among (signatory) states. States may agree on allocating asylum seekers among each other irrespective of where the application was made („protection elsewhere“). The European Dublin system is the most intensive cooperation worldwide for the allocation of asylum seekers. Part of current CEAS reform schemes is to establish migration partnerships with third states that may cover protection elsewhere agreements. The boundaries set to protection elsewhere strategies by refugee and human rights law are blurred and controversial. The allocation of responsibility within Europe and the implications of pertinent judicial decisions within the multi layer system of ECtHR, CJEU and national courts are a permanent topic of debate. There has been less debate so far about the preconditions for deflecting asylum seekers to third states. The current CEAS reform schemes raise new legal and political questions regarding Dublin transfers as well as transfers to third states. A principled legal analysis of the field is wanting. The project aims at such an analysis of the provisions of refugee and human rights law for transfer decisions based on supra- and international agreements on refugee responsibility.