Matthew Scott

Doctoral Student, , MA

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Law (excluding Law and Society)

Research

My thesis considers the application of international refugee law in situations of disaster and climate change. Recognising that the vast majority of people displaced across international borders in this connection will not satisfy the inclusion criteria at Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the thesis argues that individuals who seek refugee status in this context are nevertheless entitled to have their claims anxiously scrutinized on the basis of all relevant facts. With the majority of contemporary literature recognising scenarios where violence is enacted against individuals in disaster contexts as potentially engaging protection obligations under the Convention, this thesis goes further by exploring the question when a fear of being exposed to disaster-related adversity may support a claim for refugee status. Building on doctrinal work on refugee status determination in the context of the deprivation of economic and social rights, and drawing on literature from fields such as disaster risk reduction, disaster anthropology and political ecology, this thesis articulates an approach to the determination of refugee status that is doctrinally grounded in a human rights-based interpretation of the inclusion criteria, and theoretically grounded in an appreciation of the social construction of disasters. It is argued that when disasters are understood as social phenomena that unfold against a backdrop of pre-existing patterns of discrimination, determination of refugee status entails consideration of historical and contemporary factors contributing to individual exposure and vulnerability in order to establish when an individual may have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason.

Recent research outputs

Matthew Scott 2015 Seeking asylum in the European Union: Selected protection issues raised by the second phase of the Common European Asylum System. Bauloz, C., Ciger, M., Singer, S. & Stoyanova, V. (eds.). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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