The human rights of migrants and refugees in European law

Focussing on access to territory and authorisation of presence and residence for third-country nationals, this book examines the EU law on immigration and asylum, addressing related questions of security of residence. Concentrating on the key measures concerning both the rights of third-country nationals to enter and stay in the EU, and the EU's construction of illegal immigration, it provides a detailed and critical discussion of EU and ECHR migration and refugee law.

Rights of admission include three categories of entrants: labour migrants, family migrants, and asylum seekers and refugees. Legal entry raises further questions, and recent key measures, including the EU Blue Card Directive, the Family Reunification Directive, and the Dublin Regulation and related instruments are examined. As most of these EU measures deal with those border crossings where human rights norms have already established some constraints on state discretion, the interaction between the EU norms and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is a key concern. The uniting theme is the interaction between established human rights norms, in particular the ECHR, and EU law.

The book:

  • is the first scholarly analysis of EU and ECHR migration and refugee law that includes the post-Amsterdam legislative measures and the Court of Justice's key post-Amsterdam rulings and corresponding Strasbourg case law;
  • provides insight into the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights as generators of migrant rights, aiding understanding of their positions and interactions with each other;
  • integrates doctrinal, empirical, and theoretical material on social membership, global justice, and the construction of 'illegality' in migration law into the EU context;
  • develops an innovative theory of human rights adjudication under the complex and overlapping systems of the EU and the ECHR.
Cathryn Costello
Professor of Refugee and Migration Law