In international law the definition of refugee is widely seen as unclear. This book systematically analyses the interpretation, ordering, and interrelationship of the definition's components as well as the disputes that have arisen around it.
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In international law, the refugee definition enshrined in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol is central. Yet, seven decades on, the meaning of its key terms are widely seen as unclear. The Refugee Definition in International Law asks whether we must continue to accept this or whether a systematic legal analysis can shed new light on this important term.
The volume addresses several framework questions concerning approaches to definition, interpretation, ordering, and the interrelationship between the definition's different elements. Each element is then analysed in turn, applying Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties rules in systematic fashion. Each chapter evaluates the main disputes that have arisen and seeks to distil basic propositions that are widely agreed, as well as certain suggested propositions for resolving ongoing debates. In
the final chapter, the basic propositions are assembled to demonstrate that in fact there is now more clarity about the definition than many think and that considerable progress has been made toward achieving a working definition.