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14 - Convention grounds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Mirko Bagaric
Affiliation:
Deakin University, Victoria
Athula Pathinayake
Affiliation:
Deakin University, Victoria
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Summary

Overview of grounds

Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention defines a refugee in terms of the reasons why a person fears being persecuted. A refugee must have a well-founded fear of being persecuted ‘for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion’. After referring to Article 1 of the Convention, Gummow J explained in Applicant A v MIEA:

…[w]hilst as a matter of ordinary usage, a refugee might be one whose flight has been from invasion, earthquake, flood, famine or pestilence, the definition is not concerned with such persons. Accordingly, care is needed in resolving any apparent obscurity in the text of the definition by seeing the definition as reflecting, in a broad sense, humanitarian concerns for displaced persons.

Kirby J commented in the same case that the drafters of the Convention would not have included ‘categories of persecution’ in Article 1A(2) had they intended refugees to be defined as people who feared persecution for any reason.

Type
Chapter
Information
Migration and Refugee Law
Principles and Practice in Australia
, pp. 191 - 221
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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References

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Hathaway, J.C. A Reconsideration of the Underlying Premise of Refugee Law 1990 31 Harvard International Law Journal Google Scholar
Grahl-Madsen, A. The Status of Refugees in International Law Leyden A.W. Sijthoff 1966 217
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Musgrave, T. Refugees Public International Law: An Australian Perspective Melbourne & New York OUP 1997 301
Germov, R. Motta, F. Refugee Law in Australia Melbourne OUP 2003 251
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Falcon, M. 2002
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Helton, A. Persecution on Account of Membership of a Particular Social Group as a Basis for Refugee Status 1983 15 Columbia Law Review 39 Google Scholar
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