Legal doctrine in the global North asserts that it is well-established in international law that states have the right to control migration, as a consequence of which individuals have an international law-based claim to admission or non-removal only in exceptional cases. This legal doctrine has been shaped by colonialism and continues to have a colonial deep structure. Legal doctrine in formerly colonized parts of the world does not necessarily share Northern doctrine. How can legal academics confront this pluralist and contested character of the field they are working in?
Thomas Spijkerboer is professor of Migration Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as well as the Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University. He is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities and of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Having studied law at the University of Amsterdam, Thomas first worked in practice before writing his PhD at the Catholic University Nijmegen and becoming a Lecturer in Migration Law there in 1993. He founded the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law on his moving in 2000 to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research and teaching focuses on border deaths and human rights; gender and sexuality in asylum law; and the externalisation of European migration policy.
Watch the recorded lecture on Ghent University's website.
(source: HRC, UGent)