Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

Part II Sources, Ch.14 National Constitutions and Refugee Protection

Eve Lester

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

Edited By: Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 10 December 2023

Right to liberty and security of person — Non-refoulement — Relationship between international and domestic law

This chapter explores how national constitutional frameworks add a critical dimension to refugee protection. Given the variability in the protective value of national constitutions for refugees, it considers how States draw strength from their constitutions in response to refugee movements and why they do so in particular ways. The chapter seeks to elucidate some of the complexities in the relationship between constitutional law and international refugee and human rights law, considering the relevance of constitutional text and context, State perspectives on the place of international law, and the extent to which constitutional law has shaped, and continues to shape, international law. The chapter offers a taxonomy as a methodological framework for differentiating these complexities, which suggests that the relationship between constitutional law and international refugee law might be understood in one of three ways: as symbiotic, ambivalent, or antagonistic. It then applies this framework to three case studies. It suggests that this approach may help us to think more strategically about how to harness the protective possibilities of constitutional law as well as wrestle more productively with constitutional law’s limitations.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.