Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2013-14
Immigration Detention -
The Grounds Beneath our Feet
Dr Cathryn Costello,
Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Thursday 21st November 2013
from 6 - 7pm
Both our common law constitution and human rights law treat liberty as a central value. Yet, immigration detention remains less constrained, both normatively and institutionally, than other forms of detention. International human rights bodies and courts, and indeed domestic courts, routinely review and indeed sometimes condemn detention of migrants. Yet, that jurisprudence has been subject to a convincing critique, for failing to properly scrutinise the necessity of immigration detention. Many scholars have thus pointed out the law's anomalously indulgent approach to immigration detention, compared with other forms of deprivation of liberty. Yet, powerful as this critique is, it sometimes fails to address prior questions concerning the political purposes and legal grounds of detention. By examining these grounds and purposes, both legitimate and illegitimate, the lecture will aim to elucidate the manner in which immigration law produces reasons to detain, and thwarts any test of necessity from effectively constraining the state's power to detain migrants. The diverse approaches of the UN Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union will be contrasted. The likely impact of new EU norms on detention of asylum-seekers and pre-removal detention will also be explored.
Biography of the speaker
Cathryn Costello is Andrew W. Mellon University Lectureship in International Human Rights and Refugee Law, at the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford, with a fellowship at St Antony's College. From 2003-2013, she was Francis Reynolds Fellow & Tutor in EU & Public law at Worcester College, Oxford, during which time she also completed her DPhil studies on EU asylum and immigration law. She has taught a range of public and EU law courses on the Oxford undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum. She began her academic career in 1998 as Lecturer in European Law at the Law School, Trinity College Dublin, and from 2000-2003, she also held the position of Director of the Irish Centre for European Law. She has been a Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco and a visiting research fellow at NYU School of Law.
Cathryn has published widely on many aspects of EU and human rights law, including asylum and refugee law, immigration, EU Citizenship and third country national family members, family reunification and immigration detention. Her current research includes a monograph on EU immigration and asylum law due to be published in OUP’s Studies in European Law series, and an edited collection (with Professor Mark Freedland, St John's College) from the Migrants at Work Project, exploring intersections between immigration law and labour law.
She is also an Associate Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, which aims to bring together academics, practitioners, and policy-makers from across the globe to advance the understanding and protection of human rights and equality.
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