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Australia/Nauru: High Court Rules Offshore Detention of Asylum Seekers Is Lawful

(Feb. 5, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the High Court of Australia, Australia’s highest court, held in a 6-1 decision that the government is legally able to participate in the detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific island country of Nauru; this means that a number of people who were brought to Australia to receive […]

Austria: Newly Proposed Measures on Asylum and Refugees

(Feb. 5, 2016) On January 20, 2016, the Austrian Federation and the Austrian states, as well as the municipalities and cities, came to an understanding on an upper limit of 127,500 refugees that will be allowed to apply for asylum in Austria over the course of the next four years. If implemented into binding legislation, […]

Denmark: Law to Stem Asylum-Based Immigration

(Feb. 1, 2016) On January 26, 2016, the Danish Parliament, in a vote of 81 to 27 (with 70 absentees), adopted several measures meant to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving in Denmark. (Forslag til lov om ændring af udlændingeloven [Bill of the Law on Amending the Aliens Act] (final text of the proposal […]

United Nations: Mid-Year Report on Global Forced Displacement

(Dec. 22, 2015) On December 18, 2015, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published the UNHCR Mid-Year Trends 2015 report, an analysis of “displacement trends during the first half of 2015, based on statistics collected by UNHCR, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).”  (UNHCR MID-YEAR TRENDS 2015, at 3, UNHCR website […]

Sweden: Government Moves to Adopt More Restrictive Rules for Asylum Seekers

(Nov. 30, 2015) On November 24, 2015, the Swedish government announced that it would bring changes to Swedish asylum rules to a vote in Parliament, following reports from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency that the current refugee situation now is a risk to the life and health of people in Sweden because important forces of […]

Sweden: Limit on Asylum Seekers Reached, Measures to Cope with Influx

(Nov. 12, 2015) On November 5, 2015, the Minister of Migration and Justice, Morgan Johansson, announced that Sweden had reached the limit on its capacity to receive asylum seekers, stating, “all countries have a limit – this is where we are now.” After utilizing all available evacuation housing, the government could not guarantee, he added, […]

Germany: Parliament Adopts Legislative Package on Asylum and Refugees

(Nov. 2, 2015) On October 20, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament), with the participation of the German Bundesrat, the constitutional body through which the German states participate in the legislative process, enacted the Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures. The Act amends several laws in order to accelerate the asylum process, substitute benefits in […]

European Union: European Council’s Commitments to Refugee Crisis

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 24, 2015, the European Council, composed of heads of state or of government, convened in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the unfolding migrant crisis in the European Union. (Press Release, European Council, Informal Meeting of EU Heads of State or Government on Migration, 23 September 2015 – Statement (Sept. 24, 2015).) […]

European Union: Commission Adopts New Measures to Respond to Refugee Crisis

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 9, 2015, the European Commission adopted a Communication that contains short- and long-term measures to address the current migrant crisis, to assist countries of entry through the creation of “hotspots,” and to address the root causes of irregular migration. The concrete operational, budgetary, and legal proposals are all annexed to […]

European Union: Adoption of Decision to Relocate Asylum Seekers

(Sept. 25, 2015) On September 22, 2015, the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted a proposal, introduced by the European Commission on September 9, 2015, in response to the unprecedented influx of migrants who have sought refuge in the European Union during the last six months and in order to improve the situation of […]