- Asylum — Non-refoulement — International procedural law
This chapter describes refugee status determination (RSD), which is the post-Second World War-era term to describe a process by which the asylum norm, now expressed primarily through the Refugee Convention, is operationalized. While the concept of offering sanctuary from harm—‘asylum’—is old, little has been written about the surrounding decision-making processes in the Convention’s historical antecedents or precursors. The chapter begins by examining the origins of RSD. It charts how contemporary RSD reflects its historical antecedents and questions the robustness of a dichotomy between group and individual determination as a marker of development. The chapter then outlines the increased systemization of RSD through dedicated status determination structures comprising both State and mandate RSD, and juridification via an ever-denser body of law and guidance. It also considers inherent and contextual challenges faced by RSD before detailing various proposals for reform to ensure that RSD is a ‘fit-for purpose’ protection mechanism in the twenty-first century.
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