LAW37600 Migration Law

Academic Year 2020/2021

States have a right under international law to limit access by non-citizens to a state. However, this right is necessarily limited and prescribed. This module engages with questions regarding the ability of states to regulate or control in-ward migration for certain categories of non-citizen.

Focusing on Ireland, this module engages with three cross-cutting themes that will provide students with fascinating insights into issues of migration law in Ireland and the European Union.

Theme One: Students engage with issues that will allow conceptualisation of Irish migration law.
Theme Two: Students explore Irish asylum, refugee and protection law.
Theme Three: Students analyse the Irish system for economic/labour and family migration. This theme also engages with deportation/removal from Ireland.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this module, diligent students should be able to:

i. Identify the key principles underpinning migration law at the international, European and national level;
ii. Demonstrate knowledge of the different legal regimes pertaining to an individual’s migration status within Ireland;
iii. Consider the politics of migration within international, European and domestic settings;
iv. Evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of human rights protections for different categories of migrants;
v. Comprehend, discuss and challenge the functions and purpose of migration controls at the international, European and national level;

Indicative Module Content:

This content is indicative and is subject to change due to legal developments.

Theme One, Conceptualising Migration Law: Over three lectures, we explore the sources of migration law in the Irish legal system, focusing on the interaction of international, European Union and Irish law. Different forms of legal migrant status: asylum seeker, refugee, economic/labour migrant, irregular migrant, will be introduced. We also discuss the role of borders and the issue of entry of migrants into Ireland.

Theme Two, Refugee and Protection Law: Over five lectures, we examine Ireland's system of asylum, refugee and protection law. With a detailed focus on the International Protection Act 2015 (as amended), the issue of Ireland's responsibility for determining a protection claim, the legal grounds that must be proved in order for a person to be granted protection in Ireland, as well as the procedures for claiming protection.

Theme Three, Economic, Labour & Family Migrations: Over four lectures, we examine entry into Ireland for the purposes of labour/employment, exploring legal and administrative processes for entry and settlement in Ireland, including an exploration of issues such as family life rights for economic/labour migrants. In our final lecture, we discuss the issue of deportation and removal from Ireland.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is lecture based, with student engagement and interaction required throughout lectures.

Students will be directed to relevant reading in lecture reading lists. PowerPoints and/or lecture outlines will be available to students prior to each lecture. At relevant points of the course, students will be directed to prescribed reading, which must be engaged with prior to the lecture. This will assist in ensuring lecture based student discussion and analysis of key areas of legal controversy, and this will be an essential part of this course.

Approaches to teaching and learning will will include: reflective learning, case-law based learning and critical thinking approaches to Migration Law. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1000 word blog post on issues pertaining to migration law. Week 4 n/a Graded No


Examination: Open-Book Take Home Examination. The exam will be released in Week 12 and will be completed on the day of its release. Students will have four hours to complete this open-book, take home examination. Week 12 Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Should students require feedback on their learning for this module, then students are encouraged to self-assess their learning, and seek clarification from the lecturer, by arranging to meet the lecturer during office hours. Group class feedback will be provided on the blog post within 20 working days after submission. Students will be provided with a provisional grade for their blog post assignment. Group class feedback will be available on the take-home examination and available to students on the day/date their provisional results for this module are released by the University. This usually occurs in early June of the academic year. Individual feedback on the the blog post and/or take-home examination will be available once grades are confirmed, and students follow UCD School of Law requirements for requesting viewing of their blog post and/or examination script. This usually occurs in June/July of the relevant academic year.

There is no one text for this module. Instead, students will have to access materials from UCD Library (including online databases). All lectures will be accompanied by a reading list, that will direct students to precise materials that must be consulted.

Case law from Irish courts, Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights will be prescribed reading, depending on the topic.

Texts that may be utilised in this module include:

Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens (Cambridge University Press 2004).
Vincent Chetail, Research Handbook on International Law and Migration Vol: 1, (Edward Elgar 2016).
Cathryn Costello, The Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in European Law (Oxford University Press 2016).
Guy S. Goodwin-Gil and Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (3rd edn, OUP 2007).
James C. Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status (2nd edn, OUP 2014).
Jane McAdam, Complementary Protection in International Refugee Law (OUP 2007)
John Stanley, Immigration and Citizenship Law (Roundhall 2017).

Students will also be referred to leading academic journals, including:

JRS: Journal of Refugee Studies (available via Westlaw)
IJ: Irish Jurist (available via Hein Online)
ILT: Irish Law Times (available via Westlaw IE)
JMRI: Journal of Migration and Refugee Issues (available via Hein Online)
IJRL: International Journal of Refugee Law (available via Lexis-Nexis)
INLR: Immigration and Nationality Law Review (available via Hein Online)
LQR: Law Quarterly Review (available via Westlaw)
CLJ Cambridge Law Journal (available via Swetswise)
MLR: Modern Law Review (1937-2005, available Hein Online; 2005- available Swetswise)
NLJ: New Law Journal
OJLS: Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (Available via Swetswise, Publisher)
PL: Public Law (available via Westlaw)
BNIL: Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law (available via Publisher)
ELREV: European Law Review (available via Westlaw)
Euro Pub L: European Public Law (Print Holdings, limited availability Swetswise)
ICLQ: International and Comparative Law Quarterly (available via Swetswise)
JSWFL: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law (available via Swetswise)
JSSL: Journal of Social Security Law (available via Westlaw).
PQ: Political Quarterly (available via Swetswise)

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30 Fri 11:00 - 12:50 Face to Face