One of the most pivotal roles of the IARMJ is to bring all 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 refugee law allows for a more just outcome for all those who are seeking to be recognized 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 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 refugee and migration law judges or decision-makers, who are working on a number of critical issues in international refugee law and migration law practice. The objective of these transnational working groups is to try to resolve divergences and differences in judicial understanding, application, analysis, and the interpretation of international refugee law and migration 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 is assisted in their work by the Associate Rapporteur. IARMJ Working Parties may have up to a dozen members from the IARMJ, frequently supplemented by Associate IARMJ members, usually 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, and 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 and occasionally a significant 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