RSC course: Palestine refugees and international law

Posted: November 10, 2015 by Rex Brynen in courses

ed171007-84f5-44c9-9589-dcbdb948cddaThe Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford will be holding a short course on Palestine refugees and international law in Amman, Jordan on 11-12 March 2016:


This two-day short course places the Palestinian refugee case study within the broader context of the international human rights regime. It examines, within a human rights framework, the policies and practices of Middle Eastern states as they impinge upon Palestinian refugees. Through a mix of lectures, working group exercises and interactive sessions, participants engage actively and critically with the contemporary debates in international law and analyse the specific context of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel).

The short course commences with the background of the Palestinian refugee crisis, with special attention to the socio- political historical context and legal status of Palestinian refugees in the region. This is followed by a careful examination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including its philosophical underpinnings and ensuing human rights instruments in international law. The key themes, which have taken centre stage in the debate on the Palestinian refugee crisis, are statelessness, right of return, repatriation, self-determination, restitution compensation and protection. These themes are critically examined along with current discussions about the respective roles of UNRWA, UNHCR and the UNCCP in the Palestinian refugee case.

This course is suitable for: experienced practitioners; graduate researchers; parliamentarians and staff; members of the legal profession; government officials; and personnel of inter-governmental and nongovernmental organisations.


Dawn Chatty, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, RSC

Susan M Akram, Clinical Professor, Boston University School of Law

Further details and an online application form can be found at

* * *

In addition, the RSC is now accepting applications for their International Summer School in Forced Migration, which will be held in Oxford on 4-22 July 2016.

Applications are invited for the 2016 International Summer Schoolin Forced Migration, to be held at Wadham College, Oxford. The Summer School, now in its 27th year, offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It aims to enable people working with and for refugees and forced migrants to examine critically the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. Beginning with reflection on the diverse ways of conceptualising forced migration, the course considers political, legal and wellbeing issues associated with contemporary displacement. Individual course modules also tackle a range of other topics, including globalisation and forced migration, and negotiating strategies in humanitarian situations.

The participants

The Summer School is principally designed for practitioners and policymakers working with and for refugees and related issues, normally with several years work experience.   Participants typically include staff of the main refugee, migration and humanitarian international organisations; staff from refugee, human rights and humanitarian NGOs, and government officials working on refugee protection and related issues.

Participants also include academics and postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers working directly on refugee and forced migration issues; practicing lawyers and advocates working in refugee and human rights law pertaining to forced migrants; journalists, commentators and activists working on refugee protection and the human rights of forced migrants.

The teaching

Lecturers and tutors include research staff, academics and professionals from the Refugee Studies Centre and other world-class institutions, drawn from a number of disciplines and practices including law, anthropology, politics, and international relations.

The course, which is residential, is held in Oxford. Teaching is conducted in English.


Saïd Foundation bursaries are available for Summer School candidates who work on refugee-related issues from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (or Palestinians and Syrians resident in the Arab world). Candidates wishing to be considered for bursary support must apply directly via the International Summer School office and not contact the donors directly. Please note the deadline for a bursary application to the International Summer School is 1 February 2016.

Should additional funding become available details will be made available on the Refugee Studies Centre website.

Additional details and an online application form can be found at

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