Territoriality and Asylum Law: The Use of Territorial Jurisdiction to Circumvent Legal Obligations and Human Rights Law Responses

  • Hemme BattjesEmail author
Part of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law book series (NYIL, volume 47)


The framework for refugee protection established around 1950 seemed to be essentially territorial. In this chapter, the ways in which states redefined entry into territory and indeed territory itself in order to accommodate schemes for migration control and to limit refugee law obligations is explored, as well how states, drawing on the notion that refugee law applies within the territory, set up border controls away from their borders. Furthermore, the responses of human rights treaty monitoring bodies are analysed - both as regards the redefinitions of borders and territory, as well as regards extraterritorial acts. The picture is mixed: on the one hand human rights law did develop constraints on state actions, on the other hand the notion of territoriality limits alternative human rights law approaches to define state responsibility.


Refugee Territory Human rights Jurisdiction Extraterritorial Non-refoulement 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawVU AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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