Refugee and Family Migration Law


Course Objective

After completing this course, the student
1. has profound and specialist knowledge of international and European
refugee and family reunification law;
2. has insight into the relationship between international, European,
and national refugee and family reunification law, and their
relationship with international and European human rights law;
3. can assess and discuss legal and societal aspects of refugee and
family reunification law, in a critical manner;
4. can approach refugee and family migration issues from both a
migration law and a human rights law perspective;
5. can interpret, analyse, and critically discuss scholarly and legal
6. can analyse and critically discuss the interplay between rules and
individual decisions;
7. can analyse complex refugee and family migration law cases;
8. can signal, analyse, and offer solutions for complex issues in
refugee and family reunification law;
9. can, on an individual basis and in accordance with academic
standards, do research on a refugee law and/or family migration law
issue and present the results in writing;
10. can provide fellow students with relevant and useful feedback on
academic writing assignments.

Course Content

This course discusses family reunification and refugee law in the light
of international and European (both Union and Council of Europe) legal
regimes as well as selected national policies and case-law, and explains
the multilayered structure of these areas. It maps the international,
European and national actors involved and traces the horizontal,
vertical, and diagonal relationships between them. Furthermore, the
course analyses and critically discusses the tension between state
sovereignty and individual interests and human rights. Finally, the
interplay between migration flows, perceived effects on society,
migration law and the dynamics of policy change in these areas are
examined. The course focuses on refugee and family reunification law, as
the complex multilayered structure comes to the fore in this area
through the involvement of various actors, the tension with sovereignty,
and the interplay between legal, political, and societal issues.

Teaching Methods

The course will be taught in weekly 3 hour classes, wherein obligatory
reading will be discussed and in-class assignments will be made. In
addition to these weekly lectures, two exam training sessions will be
provided. Students should prepare themselves thoroughly for each class
by studying the required readings. Further, students have to write a
substantial paper on refugee or family reunification law during this
course, and provide feedback on drafts of fellow students.

Method of Assessment

- A written exam (re-examination might be oral)
- A paper


Required readings will be published on Canvas.

Target Audience

Students with a bachelor's degree in law from VU University or from
another Dutch or accredited non-Dutch university. Exceptionally, also
students with a bachelor degree in another subject with 60 ECTS of law
courses or students with considerable experience in the field of law may
be admitted.

Recommended background knowledge

Knowledge of key concepts of European Union and international public law
is assumed in class. In the first week an optional class has been
scheduled for addressing deficiencies in knowledge of European Union

General Information

Course Code R_STMRL
Credits 12 EC
Period P1+2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator C.H. Slingenberg
Examiner C.H. Slingenberg
Teaching Staff C.H. Slingenberg
prof. mr. H. Battjes
prof. dr. mr. B. de Hart
mr. drs. W.K. Hutten

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: