Legal Rights and Obligations of States with Regard to Interception at Sea: Extraterritorial Application of the Principle of Non-refoulement
Abstract: The migration of people by sea is not a new phenomenon. Since early days, people whose lives have been under threat or people in search of better living conditions often have taken this route. However, today States are trying to prevent every attempt of irregular migration as they have established policies of interception at sea. They often engage in interceptions without taking into consideration the condition of the persons who have been intercepted and their need for international protection. Moreover, States recently have advanced their interception practice on the high seas, claiming that they do not have any international obligations towards the persons that have been intercepted. However, as the thesis will argue, migrants, asylum seekers or refugees are not left in “legal black hole” when they are intercepted beyond State’s territorial borders, in an extraterritorial context. Human rights including the principle of nonrefoulement as a core norm of the refugee law, also apply in extraterritorial context wherever a State exercises jurisdiction. Any action by a State, which does not comply with their human rights obligations, will result in a violation of these obligations including the principle of non-refoulement.
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