University of London

Small Navigation Menu

Primary Menu

Statelessness, nationality and the protection of stateless persons


This module explores the international law relating to statelessness and stateless persons and its development over the past sixty years.

Topics covered

  • The concept of ‘nationality’ under international law and the extent of the problem of statelessness worldwide
  • The international community’s responses to statelessness and the development of legal frameworks intended to both reduce/eliminate statelessness and to protect stateless persons.
  • The definition of ‘stateless person’ and challenges faced in applying this definition in practice.
  • The role of human rights law in reducing and preventing statelessness and protecting stateless people.
  • The expanding mandate of UNHCR in respect of Stateless Persons, and national laws and policies relating to statelessness

Learning outcomes

This module provides you with an advanced critical understanding of the concepts, theories, legal/policy standards and mechanisms pertaining to statelessness and stateless persons. You will learn to develop, advance and defend legal and policy arguments evaluating concepts, theories and laws on statelessness and nationality.


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 Tamás Molnár

Dr Tamás Molnár - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Dr Tamás Molnár graduated at the Eötvös Lorand University of Budapest (ELTE), Faculty of Law in 2003 and the Université libre de Bruxelles, Institut d’Etudes Européennes in 2006 (LLM in EU law); then obtained his PhD in public international law in 2013 at ELTE.

He is an adjunct professor in the Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of International Studies (currently on leave) and has published widely in the fields of international law, EU law and statelessness law. He has also undertaken ad hoc consultancy for UNHCR on statelessness issues since 2010. Since September 2016, he has been working for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (Vienna) as a legal research officer on asylum, migration and borders. Previously, among others, he was head of the Migration Unit, Department of EU Cooperation, Ministry of Interior of Hungary (2010–14), and was charged with the drafting of the Hungarian statelessness determination procedure in 2006–07.

He is an associate member of the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), and a member of the European Society of International Law (ESIL), the coordinating committee of the ESIL Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law, the International Law Association (ILA) – Hungarian Branch, the Société française pour le droit international (SFDI), the Fédération internationale de droit européen (FIDE) and the European Law Institute (ELI).

Caia Vlieks

Caia Vlieks - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Caia Vlieks is a doctoral candidate at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Her research concerns the issue of statelessness in Europe and focuses on European legal instruments that can contribute to preventing and solving statelessness in light of the changing conceptions of nationality and citizenship, and the right to a nationality.

Caia has considerable experience in teaching statelessness and fundamental rights, and has published different articles and papers on the issue of statelessness. She was (co-)managing editor of the Statelessness Working Paper Series hosted by the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion until September 2017 and is a member of the European Network on Statelessness.

Caia holds an LLM in international and European law (cum laude) and an LLM in legal research (cum laude) from Tilburg University.