A key attribute of national sovereignty is the right of States to admit or exclude aliens from their territory. However, many of those who arrive on their territory or at their borders without visas or without a right to enter or remain cannot be returned. They may simply not have the documentation to facilitate this. They may be claiming international protection: asylum under the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees or protection under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits expulsion to face prohibited treatment.

This paper looks at the compatibility of imposing restrictions on such persons’ liberty and movement.

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