GENEVA (30 June 2015) – “Is Litigation Still Relevant in the face of Mass Global Displacement?”  This was the discussion topic at the 3rd Annual Roundtable on Strategic Litigation which took place in Geneva as a side event during the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs.

During the Roundtable IDC Advocacy Coordinator, Ben Lewis, highlighted that states are increasingly using detention as a means of attempting to control irregular migration, and that this routinely results in the arbitrary detention of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants, often for indefinite periods and without providing meaningful due process protections or access to protection.  Among other things, Mr. Lewis advocated for the greater use of regional and international jurisprudence in domestic strategic litigation efforts, highlighting the many legal limitations imposed by international human rights bodies in relation to children and families, for example, or in the context of policies based on deterrence rationale:


“It is necessary to encourage different actors to use international soft law at the domestic and regional levels…”


The session concluded that more regional dialogue is necessary to build the capacity of lawyers, advocates and judges, with the dual purpose of strengthening knowledge and understanding of the varied approaches to mixed migration.


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