Self-determination in New Contexts: The Self-determination of Refugees and Forced Migrants in International Law
LL.M. Candidate in Public International Law, Utrecht University; LL.B., Australian National University School of Law; B.A. in International Relations, Australian National University College of Arts and Social Sciences
The international movement of people as a result of conflict, natural disaster, and famine is increasingly challenging for States. The Refugee Convention and its additional protocols have proven to be inadequate for protecting many people from human rights abuses. Accordingly this paper seeks to ascertain whether self-determination may operate to protect permanent refugee and forced migrant communities. Self-determination is a human right that has attracted considerable controversy. However, its universal applicability and the strength of the right make it an attractive means of limiting the power of a State in respect of refugee and forced migrant communities. Drawing from historical analogy this article concludes that in limited circumstances self-determination may be available for permanent refugee or forced migrant communities.