One of the most pivotal roles of the IARMJ is to bring refugee law amd migration law judges and decision-makers together to come to a common understanding of international law and practice. A common application, understanding and interpretation of international law allows for more just outcomes for all those who seek to be recognised as Convention refugees across all states parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and for those for whom human rights issues relating to migration arise.
At the forefront of fulfilling this pivotal role for the IARMJ is its Inter-Conference Working Parties Process, comprised of a number of transnational groups of judges or decision-makers, working on a number of critical issues in refugee and migration law practice. The objective of these working groups is to try to resolve differences in judicial understanding, application, analysis and the interpretation of international law on these critical issues.
Each IARMJ Working Party is comprised, typically, of a Rapporteur, who is responsible for leading their Working Party, presiding at its meetings, and ensuring that the Working Party meets its self-determined objectives for presenting its findings at the next IARMJ World Conference. The Rapporteur may be assisted by an Associate Rapporteur and there may be up to a dozen members, frequently supplemented by Associate members who are legal scholars and academics, and UNHCR and/or IOM officials who are considered to be ex officio members.
The conference papers, reports and guidelines of the IARMJ Working Parties are frequently published in leading refugee law and migration law journals, as chapters in edited volumes, in the IARMJ’s own World Conference Proceedings publications and on the IARMJ website. Please note that any guidelines recommended by a Working Party must follow a particular procedure to be issued under the auspices of the IARMJ as a whole. It is fair to say that the IARMJ Working Parties have made an important contribution to the advancement of international refugee law and migration law practice.
At the 12th World Conference of the IARMJ, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 19-22 February 2020, the Working Parties were refined and reconstituted into eight, including the Asylum Procedures and the African Asylum Procedures Working Parties being amalgamated, the Expert Evidence Working Party being expanded to become the Expert Evidence Working Party including both COI and social media, and the creation of a new Deportation Working Party.
Coordinator, Working Parties