Istanbul Law Review
Propositions to Fill for Normative Gaps on Temporary Protection and Refugee Burden SharingÜmmühan Elçin Ertuğrul
This paper proposes a paradigm change in the international refugee regime, whereby refugee burden-sharing must shift from state-centrism and security concerns toward a perspective grounded in human rights and the international community. Furthermore, it proposes to fill normative gaps regarding temporary protection and refugee burden-sharing. The right to obtain and receive protection in other countries for a person who is faced with persecution in their own country is a human right However, it does not constitute an international obligation for states under the present refugee regime. Refugee admission is solely under the control and at the discretion of the host states. States usually avoid admitting refugees due to various concerns regarding security, their social and economic situation, and the like. As a result, the refugee burden is placed on the shoulders of just a few states. In fact, it should be shared by all. This paper advocates placing the burden of refugees, including the burden of temporary protection, on the international community as a whole. The argument is that refugee burden-sharing is a jus cogens from which the international community as a whole benefits and that jus cogens entails erga omnes obligation for the international community as a whole. In fact, erga omnes obligations may arise even if refugee burden-sharing is not accepted as jus cogens under international law. In discussions on refugee burden-sharing, the logic of collective action and the prisoner’s dilemma have been considered. This paper also contends that burden-sharing states have rights in personam to claim from other states, inspired by Hart’s theory of “mutuality of restriction.” The essence of this paper is based on Friedman’s notion of an everchanging international community and, thus, on an understanding of international law.
Geçici Koruma ve Mülteci Yükünün Paylaşılmasındaki Normatif Boşlukların Giderilmesiyle İlgili ÖnerilerÜmmühan Elçin Ertuğrul
Bu çalışmada, uluslararası mülteci rejiminde bir paradigma değişikliği yani mülteci yükü paylaşımının, güvenlik odaklı devlet merkezinden; insan hakları odaklı, uluslararası toplum merkezine kaydırılması önerilir. Ayrıca, geçici koruma ve mülteci yükü paylaşımına ilişkin normatif boşlukları doldurmak için öneriler sunulur. Menşe ülkesinde zulüm gören kişilerin başka ülkelere sığınması ya da sığınma araması bir insan hakkıdır. Ancak bu durum, mevcut mülteci rejimine göre, devletler için uluslararası bir yükümlülük oluşturmaz. Şöyle ki, mülteci kabulü, ev sahibi devletlerin münhasır egemenliği dahilindedir ve tamamen ev sahibi devletlerin takdirine bırakılmıştır. Devletler genellikle, güvenlik, sosyal ve ekonomik durum ve benzeri kaygılar nedeniyle, ülkelerine mülteci almaktan kaçınmaktadırlar. Bunun sonucu olarak da mülteci yükü çok az sayıda devletin omuzlarına kalmaktadır. Çalışma, geçici korumanın da dahil olduğu mülteci yükünü, bir bütün olarak uluslararası topluma yükler. Mülteci yükünün paylaşımının, bir bütün olarak uluslararası toplumun menfaatine olan jus cogens kural olduğunu ve bundan herkese karşı ileri sürülebilen erga omnes yükümlülük doğduğunu savunur. Erga omnes yükümlülük, mülteci yükünün paylaşılması jus cogens kural kabul edilmese dahi söz konusu olabilecektir. Mülteci yükünün paylaşımında Kolektif Hareketin Mantığı ve Mahkum İkilemi, göz önünde tutulmuştur. Bu çalışma ayrıca, Hart’ın “kısıtlamaların karşılıklılığı” teorisine göre, mülteci yükünü paylaşan devletlerin, diğerler devletlerden talep edebilecekleri nisbi haklarının olduğunu iddia eder. Çalışmanın konusu, Friedmann’ın, uluslararası toplum ve dolayısıyla uluslararası hukukun değişimine dayandırılmıştır.
This paper proposes a paradigm shift in the international refugee regime. It defends that burden sharing must shift from state-centrism and security concerns to the human rights and international community perspective. Furthermore, it makes proposals to fill normative gaps regarding temporary protection and refugee burden-sharing.
The right to seek and enjoy asylum in other countries for a person who is faced with persecution is a human right. However, it does not constitute an international obligation for states. According to the present refugee regime, refugee admission is within the exclusive sovereignty and entirely at the discretion of the host states. States usually avoid admitting refugees due to various concerns regarding security, their social and economic situation, and the like. As a result, the refugee burden is placed on the shoulders of just a few states. In fact, it should be shared by all.
We see some burden-sharing mechanisms proposed in theory or arising in practice. Offering compensation to the host state, providing safe havens for refugees, applying quotas, exercising the state of origin liability, and sharing responsibility among a certain region or group are possible examples. These solutions, however, clearly do not work in real life.
The study is based on Friedmann’s thesis on the everchanging international community and, thus, on an understanding of international law.
The paper advocates placing the burden of refugees, including the burden of temporary protection, on the international community as a whole. This argument concerns which refugee burden-sharing is a jus cogens from which the international community as a whole benefits. It argues that jus cogens entails erga omnes obligation for the entire international community. In fact, erga omnes obligations may arise even if refugee burden-sharing is not accepted as jus cogens under international law.
While discussing refugee burden-sharing, the study uses the logic of collective action and prisoner’s dilemma. Olson’s theory of the logic of collective action can be summarized as follows: Groups of individuals with common interests are expected to act in their common interests; however, single individuals often act in their own interests. Although the international community as a whole will benefit from refugee burden-sharing, states prioritize their national interests and refrain from admitting refugees.
Tucker’s prisoner dilemma theory is a zero-sum game theory based on cooperative behaviour. It concerns two persons, jointly charged with violating the law, who are held separately by the police. These persons fail to cooperate, which leads to the worst result for both of them. Failure to cooperate in sharing the burden of refugees leads the international community to the worst outcome for both refugees and states.
This paper also contends that states that participate in refugee burden-sharing have special rights to claim from other states. This argument is inspired by Hart’s theory of “mutuality of restriction.” Hart expresses his theory as follows: “when a number of persons conduct any joint enterprise according to rules and thus restrict their liberty, those who have submitted to these restrictions when required have a right to a similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission.” Accordingly, the refugee burden-sharing obligation for all states has its roots in international cooperation.
Furthermore, this study notes the normative gaps in the international law on temporary protection and refugee burden-sharing from a human rights perspective and the insufficiency of institutions related to the subject matter such as the UNHCR. It focuses on normative gaps to start a discussion on the legal obligations of states. The article suggests the following: to make universal legal arrangements, which overlap with obligatory characteristics of the jus cogens norm and erga omnes obligation, increasing the effectiveness of international institutions, interstate cooperation, and spreading the responsibility to the international community as a whole.