Annual Report 2014
2014 was the first year in which the Institute for Immigration Law organized an Honours Class Asylum for the Leiden Honours School. The course was interdisciplinary, and a high measure of participation was expected from the students. Guest lecturers from the academic and professional field held seminars dealing with current issues. The coordination of the Honours Class was in the capable hands of Stefan Kok.
A second new activity on the topic of asylum was the start of the English language elective European Asylum Law. The idea is to offer topics concerning regular migration in European Migration Law and create more room for aspects specific to asylum in this new course. The expertise of lecturers Mariana Gkliati and Stefan Kok and the enthusiasm of the foreign students were key ingredients for a successful start of the course.
In 2014 the fifth fully revised edition of the book Vreemdelingenrecht in Vogelvlucht (Immigration Law in a Nutshell) was published. Gerrie Lodder makes this complex area of law comprehensible for lawyers as well as non-lawyers in this publication. The book is required reading for multiple courses taught by the Institute for Immigration Law. Furthermore, 2014 saw the release of a fully revised edition of the book European Migration Law. Gerrie Lodder worked on the creation of this book together with three former staff members of the Institute for Immigration Law: Pieter Boeles (VU University Amsterdam), Maarten den Heijer (University of Amsterdam) and Kees Wouters (UNHCR). This book is required reading for immigration law courses taught in English in Leiden as well as elsewhere.
In 2014-2015, with funding from the Gratama Foundation and the Leiden University Fund, the Institute for Immigration Law is conducting research into the immigration law procedures for minors who are victims of human trafficking. The Gratama Foundation is a family fund founded in 1925 that supports and finances projects in the area of research and education with social relevance. Human trafficking is a serious form of crime that has increased in magnitude in the past decade. Unaccompanied minors are especially vulnerable and these children run the risk of falling victim to human traffickers. The research focuses on whether Dutch regulations and policy in the area of human trafficking provide unaccompanied minors sufficient protection in terms of residence rights.
On 24 and 25 October 2014, the Institute for Immigration Law and ELENA, the European Legal Network on Asylum, organized an international conference on the significance of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights for immigration and asylum law. The ELENA network is a European forum for legal practitioners in the field of asylum law. The network is coordinated by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in Brussels. This was the first time ELENA collaborated with a university in organizing an ELENA conference. The conferences are held annually for lawyers, judges, court officials, NGO experts and policy staff in Europe. More than 100 participants from all over Europe had registered for the conference The use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Immigration and Asylum Law in Leiden. Introductions were held by leading scholars and judges from European courts in the area of immigration and asylum law. The conference was opened on behalf of Leiden University by Professor Alex Geert Castermans, and by Peter Rodrigues on behalf of the Institute for Immigration Law, with a lecture entitled The application of the Charter to asylum and immigration law. The conference addressed topics such as the right to asylum, the perspective of the European Court of Justice, detention of asylum seekers, and the asylum procedure and the right to an effective remedy. Furthermore, there were workshops on the right to family life, protection against deportation, the treatment of persons with special procedural and reception needs, evidence in asylum procedures, reception and detention, and the rights of the child. The conference ended with a short panel discussion on the expected influence of the Charter in the area of asylum and migration.
Gerrie Lodder and Peter Rodrigues taught a tailored course on immigration law to the Inspectorate of Security and Justice. The need for this arose because the Inspectorate has agreed (upon request) to extend its tasks to include the migration chain.
The Institute for Immigration Law is one of the leading centres of expertise in the field of immigration law. Important expertise is available in the area of family migration and the position of the child in immigration law. The key tasks of the Institute are:
a. providing academic education to Dutch as well as foreign students;
b. conducting research in the area of immigration law from a national, European and international perspective;
c. the dissemination of knowledge on immigration law to Dutch and foreign legal practitioners.
If would like more information on the activities of the Institute for Immigration Law or you are interested in cooperation, please feel free to contact us.