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Part 1 Refugees, 3 Determination of Refugee Status: Analysis and Application

Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Jane McAdam, Emma Dunlop

From: The Refugee in International Law (4th Edition)

Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

Asylum — Internally displaced persons

This chapter discusses the determination of refugee status. The legal consequences that flow from the formal definition of refugee status are necessarily predicated upon determination by some or other authority that the individual or group in question satisfies the relevant legal criteria. In principle, a person becomes a refugee at the moment when he or she satisfies the definition, so that determination of status is declaratory, rather than constitutive. However, while the question of whether an individual is a refugee may be a matter of fact, whether or not he or she is a refugee within the 1951 Convention, and benefits from refugee status, is a matter of law. Problems arise where States decline to determine refugee status, or where States and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reach different determinations.

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