The Safe Country Concept in International Agreements: Past, Present and Future of State Practice

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled The Safe Country Concept in International Agreements: Past, Present and Future of State Practice presented by María-Teresa Gil-Bazo (Senior Lecturer in Law and Convenor of Newcastle University Research Group on International Studies in Forced Migration).

One of the expressions of international cooperation among States in the field of refugee protection is the adoption of international agreements that implement the “safe country” concept. This presentation examines the legal background to these concepts and State practice by considering three select case studies: South Africa, Spain and the US. The presentation analyses the legal implications and significance of issues arising and provides a critique of the system and its premises. In particular, the presentation considers whether a multilateral arrangement – such as the Dublin III Regulation or the Canada-US Agreement – has the potential to become a model for the development of an inter-State agreement whereby one of the State Parties effectively delivers all relevant international obligations (including the right to asylum) on behalf of all States bound by such system. The dual nature of the system is analysed, as an operational instrument creating obligations between States while at the same time allowing for the delivery of States’ international obligations towards refugees.


Dr María-Teresa Gil-Bazo is Senior Lecturer in Law at Newcastle Law School, where she teaches Public International Law, EU Law, and The Movement of Persons in a Global World. She is also Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College, Senior Research Associate at the School of Advanced Studies (University of London), Fellow of the European Law Institute (Vienna), and External Expert of the EU Asylum Office (EASO). Dr Gil-Bazo qualified as a lawyer in 1993 and is Member of the Spanish Bar Council.

Date: Monday 26 February 2018

Time: 12.30 -13.30

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus