ASYFAIR Conference 2021

Adjudicating Refugee Claims in Practice: Advocacy and Experience at Asylum Court Appeals

30 June – 2 July 2021 (British Summer Time)

Virtual (via Zoom), hosted by the University of Exeter

Organisers: Dr. Nicole Hoellerer and Prof. Dr. Nick Gill (ASYFAIR, University of Exeter)

Programme available here

Recordings of presentations: See here.

Immigration and asylum judges are tasked with the highly challenging job of deciding an asylum claim in an imperfect informational environment where evidence, expertise, testimonies and even the ability to reason intuitively about country of origin conditions and particular cases can be highly constrained. If this was not challenging enough, asylum appeal caseloads increased markedly across Europe in 2017 and 2018, putting strain on the capacities of Europe’s judiciary to deal with the challenges of adjudication effectively. The policy context is continuously evolving, the linguistic challenges are manifold, the political environment is often problematic, and the stakes are high in terms of the personal safety of refugees and the integrity of European countries’ claims to uphold their international obligations to people forced to migrate to find safety.

The conference has brought together scholars and practitioners discussing the challenges of refugee status determination and adjudicating asylum appeals.

Themes discussed during the conference:

  • Refugee Status Determination and Asylum Adjudication in various settings in Europe and elsewhere
  • Credibility
  • Vulnerability
  • Legal representation and advice
  • Fairness and access to justice
  • Case law
  • Evidence
  • Country of origin information.

Due to the uncertainties because of the global pandemic, the conference took place virtually (via Zoom), rather than in-person.

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Ashley B. Terlouw

The dilemma of discretion: Deciding by the rules or by heart in asylum cases?

Sociology of Law and Migration Law

Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

Read more and watch the video of the keynote here.


Prof. Nick Gill

Inside Europe’s Asylum Appeals


Human Geography, PI ASYFAIR

University of Exeter, UK

Read more and watch the video of the keynote here.

Conference Programme

The full conference programme, abstracts, presenters’ details and bibliography are available here (final update: 6 July 2021).

Conference Recordings

You can watch videos of talks and presentations here.

Conference Bibliography

The conference organising team and participants have complied a bibliography with some key references for refugee status determination and asylum adjudication.

Here you can find a PDF with the bibliography (listed alphabetically).

If you want to add further references, please contact the ASYFAIR team.

For any questions or feedback, please contact the ASYFAIR team.

Technical assistance provided by Warwick Event Services