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1 - The Evolution of the Refugee Rights Regime

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2021

James C. Hathaway
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Law School
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Summary

The origins of refugee rights are closely intertwined with the emergence of the general system of international human rights law. Like international human rights, the refugee rights regime is a product of the twentieth century. Its contemporary codification by the United Nations took place just after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was strongly influenced by the Declaration’s normative structure.

In a more fundamental sense, though, the refugee rights regime draws heavily on the earlier precedents of the law of responsibility for injuries to aliens and international efforts to protect national minorities. This chapter highlights the conceptual contributions made by each of these bodies of international law to the emergence of specific treaties to govern the human rights of refugees.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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