LLS Staff Seminar #5: Refugee Boats in the High Seas: In Search of a Legal Framework

In the fifth La Trobe Law School Staff Seminar for 2016, Solon Solomon will discuss the challenges of the interception of refugee boats in the high seas from an international human rights perspective.


The interception of refugee boats in the high seas, outside national jurisdiction boundaries brings forth state arguments that human rights law should not apply. Rather, these refugee boats are being considered as a security peril and states many times engage in a war rhetoric trying to justify their attempts at stopping them from reaching land.

Going along this state approach for the sake of the argument, the seminar will discuss how still, even if the laws of war are deemed to apply, human rights law equally applies, through the effective control these states exert over refugee boats even if this control is not physical.

Drawing from the jurisprudence of international judicial bodies, particularly the European Court of Human Rights, as well as quasi-judicial bodies, the seminar will demonstrate how the interception of refugee boats in the high seas does not restrain state accountability vis-a-vis cases where such interception takes place inside the national boundaries.


Currently at King’s College London Dickson Poon School of Law, Solon Solomon is former member of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Legal Department in charge of international and constitutional issues. Holder of the George Weber award by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, his first book on the justiciability of international disputes has been reviewed in a number of academic journals and has been cited before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Chevron v. Ecuador case. The book he co-edited on the application of international humanitarian law in judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, was published in 2014 by TMC Asser Press and has been presented in London in the UCL Faculty of Laws and in The Hague, inter alia by Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood from the International Court of Justice and Judge de Gurmendi, the President of the International Criminal Court. Articles of his have been published in a number of academic journals and he has also media presence in outlets such as The Times of London, der Tagesspiegel, Hurriyet and Haaretz. He has taught and rendered lectures, presentations and seminars in a number of academic institutions including the University of Cambridge, the University of Geneva and Melbourne Law School.


Date: Wednesday 29 June 2016

Time: 12.45pm to 2pm

Venue: La Trobe Law School Moot Court, Social Sciences Building (Room 232), Melbourne Campus, La Trobe University

Cost: Free

RVSP: Please register via Eventbrite.


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