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Michigan Guidelines

The four existing guidelines on the internal protection alternative, nexus to a Convention ground, well-founded fear, and protection elsewhere are products of the colloquia we’ve convened which initiated sustained deliberation by international academics, practitioners, advisors and law students on these issues.  The Michigan Guidelines have now been published by the University of Michigan Law School as one comprehensive volume in four languages, English, French, Russian and Arabic.  For further information about this publication, please contact the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at   You may also view or download the four Michigan Guidelines in any of the four languages at the program’s comprehensive web based repository the Refugee Caselaw Site at http://refugeecaselaw.org/michiganGuidelines.asp

            The next set of Michigan Guidelines will concern the right to work for refugees and asylum-seekers.  Members of the IARLJ who are aware of decisions on this topic are invited to forward them to the program’s Director, Professor Penelope Mathew, at



            The Refugee Caselaw Site is the leading collection of international decisions on refugee status under the Convention.  It is maintained by the University of Michigan Law School’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law in tandem with the University of Melbourne School of Law. The Refugee Caselaw Site provides scholars, decision makers, academics and researchers with a single, regularly updated resource in which to search for the world’s leading decisions on Convention refugee status. The decisions are indexed using the Hathaway Number system, which allows for quick and efficient searching through the database.

            Our core collection includes cases from the highest national courts of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These cases have been selected and indexed by the Director of the Refugee Caselaw Site, Prof. James Hathaway, Dean of the University of Melbourne Law School. Since 2004, the collection has been incrementally expanded to include decisions from 28 other asylum countries, as well as the most important decisions of lower courts and tribunals in the core collection states. These cases are selected and indexed by teams of leading experts and members of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges.

            The Refugee Caselaw Site provides free access to selected refugee decisions worldwide, including Greece, Austria, Poland, UK (AIT), Japan, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. Cases from these newer “National Sites” are selected and indexed by teams of judges and leading refugee academics who have generously donated their expertise and time to make this project a reality. New additional features include judicial and general discussion forums on leading and controversial international refugee law cases, as well as email notifications of new precedent setting decisions.  Searching the collection is made easy via the guided search interface, which features concept, Hathaway Number and free text capabilities.  To visit the Refugee Caselaw Site, go to: http://www.refugeecaselaw.org/



            In addition to facilitating the comprehensive academic study of refugee law, the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at Michigan Law is committed to enabling our best students to confront the ways in which refugee law as theoretically conceived is reshaped by institutional constraints, resource limitations, and general social, political, and economic forces. To this end, each year up to six graduates of the International Refugee Law course are awarded a Michigan Fellowship in Refugee and Asylum Law. The recipients of a Michigan Fellowship receive a stipend for living and travel expenses to enable them to undertake a summer internship with one of a group of partner organizations (Amnesty International Secretariat – London, ECRE – Brussels, Human Rights Watch – Washington, DC, Jesuit Refugee Service –Lilongwe, New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority – Auckland, and UNHCR – Washington, DC.)  Members of the IARLJ are invited to bring the Michigan Fellowship program to the attention of their organization as our program is interested in exploring the possibility of working with additional partner organizations.


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The Secretariat
International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges
P.O. Box 1621
2003 BR Haarlem
The Netherlands

+31 88 361 45 21
+31 6 481 38 606

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