This Symposium, on “Serious International Crimes, Human Rights, and Forced Migration,” is intended to bring together some of the leading authorities in the world in International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Refugee Law, who are dealing with some of the most critical issues in these respective areas of public international law and, further, how these different branches of public international law interact and impact on each other. A symposium on these interrelated fields is essential, at this time, for a number of reasons. But, suffice it to say, that the current “refugee crisis,” that is predominantly driven by protracted non-international armed conflicts that are geographically concentrated in the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia, needs to be addressed at its “root cause.” The mass production of refugees from zones of extreme political violence in the form of protracted non-international armed conflict has resulted in the greater prominence of the so-called “Exclusion Clauses” of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Article 1F. How serious international crimes and breaches of international human rights produce mass forced displacement and, with it, the issues dealing with the exclusion clauses will be one of the major themes of this Symposium. Hence, the proper application and interpretation of Article 1F for those who are fleeing protracted armed conflict and whether there are “serious reasons for considering” that they may have “committed” or may be “guilty” of serious international crimes will be an overarching consideration of the Symposium.

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