Monash University

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Cessation of refugee status under article 1 c(5) of the 1951 refugee convention: protection from persecution or effective protection?

posted on 2017-02-06, 02:05 authored by O'Sullivan, Maria Josephine
This thesis examines the use by States of the 'changed circumstances' cessation provision in Article IC(5) of the Refugee Convention, and the wider implications of this practice for international refugee law. It focuses in particular on the application of the cessation clause to refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan - two countries which, despite changes in country conditions, continue to experience civil conflict and security concerns. A number of important interpretative issues arise in relation to cessation under Article I C(5) of the Convention. These include: the relationship between the criteria for recognition and cessation of refugee status under Articles 1 A(2) and 1 C(5) of the Convention; what is required to constitute a 'change in circumstances' in the country of origin; the applicable burden and standard of proof and the meaning of 'protection'. The interpretation of 'protection' in this context is particular important, not only for elucidation of the cessation criteria, but also more broadly for the meaning of protection under international refugee law. As such the thesis canvasses debates which are pertinent to many other contentious areas of refugee law, including the relationship between the refugee definition and complementary protection, application of the Refugee Convention in situations of armed conflict, and the role of non-state bodies as actors of protection. It also illustrates some of the central problems with the way in which the 1951 Refugee Convention is implemented domestically in key asylum host states. The arguments put forward in this thesis have particular significance for the return of asylum-seekers and refugees to situations of ongoing conflict and post-conflict situations and is therefore highly pertinent to the future development of international refugee law.


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Principal supervisor

Susan Kneebone

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Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Law

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