LAW37600 Migration Law

Academic Year 2021/2022

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 migration. This theme also engages with deportation 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 , challenge and/or justify 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.

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 Conceptualising Irish Migration Law: 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 Protection from Persecution and Serious Harm: 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 Labour Migration and Deportation: We analyse entry into Ireland for the purposes of labour/employment, exploring legal and administrative processes for entry and settlement in Ireland. WIthin our final lecture, we discuss the issue of deportation and removal of migrants from Ireland.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


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 5 n/a Graded No


Examination: Open-Book Exam: The exam will be completed on the day of its release. Students will have seven hours to complete this open-book exam. Precise timing tbc, but likely Saturday, 24 April 2021. 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?

Individual Feedback on Learning (Throughout the Semester): Should students require feedback on their learning for this module, then students are encouraged to self-assess their learning, and seek clarification by asking a question on Brightspace discussion boards OR arranging an individual virtual consultation during office hours. Group class feedback on Blog-Post: Students will be provided with group feedback and a provisional grade on the blog post within 20 working days after submission, by Friday, 19 March 2021 (to be confirmed). At this stage, individual feedback cannot be provided on the Blog-Post grade. Group class feedback on Open Book Examination: This will be available on the take-home examination and available to students once the University releases your final grade for this module, and the School of Law directs feedback be provided. At this stage, individual feedback cannot be provided on the Examination grade. Individual feedback on the blog post and/or take-home examination: This will be available once grades are final. You will receive information on the process for obtaining individual feedback on your assessments for this module in June/July 2021, via Brightspace.

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.

You will be referred to relevant secondary legal materials (books, book chapters, journal articles, blogs, reports etc.) as appropriate in the week-by-week reading lists. I will only be recommending materials that you can have ready access to either through UCD Library or freely available on-line (such as on academic institutional repositories).

Please note that there is no required text for purchase for this module. Reading and other materials will be available from UCD Library (online or offline).

In addition to the precise readings you may be referred to, the following is a select bibliography that may assist in furthering your understanding and knowledge of migration law.

E-Book: Vincent Chetail, Philippe De Bruycker, and Francesco Maiani, Reforming the Common European Asylum System : The New European Refugee Law (Brill 2016)
E-Book: Cathryn Costello, The Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in European Law (OUP 2016).
E-Book: James C. Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status (2nd edn, OUP 2014).
Library Copies Only: John Stanley, Immigration and Citizenship Law (Roundhall 2017).

In relation to the Stanley text, it is possible that a large number of you may not be able to access UCD Library. However, much of the materials within this book are available by: (i) reading legislation in detail; (ii) reading case-law in detail.

You should develop the practice of consulting the leading academic journals in the migration law field. You will be referred to articles within the reading list, but you should seek to augment these through your own research. This will keep you up to date with current developments. These journals can be accessed through UCD Library, and may include:

Journal of Refugee Studies
Journal of Migration and Refugee Issues
International Journal of Refugee Law
European Law Review
European Public Law
International and Comparative Law Quarterly.
Irish Law Times.
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) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31 Fri 11:00 - 12:50