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Advanced international refugee law


This module explores cutting-edge debates within the field of international refugee law.

Topics covered

  • The development of international refugee law and the institutions mandated to safeguard it.
  • Detention of asylum-seekers and encampment.
  • Refugee rights, the refugee predicament and cessation of refugee status.
  • Non-refoulement challenges and responses: interception at sea, ‘mass influx’/ temporary protection, the ‘pacific solution’.
  • ‘War refugees’ and the role of international humanitarian law.
  • The outer boundaries of refugee law: climate-induced flight and the privileging of forced migration

Learning outcomes

This module provides you with an advanced critical understanding of the concepts, challenges and debates currently at the forefront of international refugee law. You will learn how to research, advance and defend detailed legal arguments evaluating evolving interpretations of refugee law and apply these to challenging case studies.


This elective module is assessed via a 4,000-word research essay, which comprises 70% of the overall grade, and three online assessments (E-tivities), which make up 30% of the overall grade.

Module team

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler, module convenor

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Reading, where he is Director of the LLM Programmes in Human Rights, International Law, and Advanced Legal Studies. He is Editor-in-Chief, Working Paper Series, Refugee Law Initiative, University of London; Academic Fellow, the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Convenor, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section, Society of Legal Scholars; and Research Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford and the Civil Liberties & Human Rights Section Convenor of the Society of Legal Scholars. Ruvi is also a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, analysing the treatment of African asylum seekers in Israel as part of the Institute’s Democratic Principles project. Ruvi’s areas of research interest include citizenship and electoral rights, international refugee law, comparative constitutional law and international humanitarian law. He has recently published Voting rights of refugees (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Previously, Ruvi was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program; a Tutor in Public International Law at the University of Oxford; and a legal advising officer at the Israel Defence Forces’ Legal Counsellor’s Office (mandatory military service). Ruvi holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; an LLM (with specialisation in public law) from Hebrew University; and an LLB, BA (Economics) from the University of Haifa. He was called to the Israeli bar in 2003.