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It's not me, it's EU - Critically assessing the relationship between human rights and sovereignty in the CEAS, with a particular focus on the Dublin Regulation

Nguyen, Jenny LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det nuvarande globala systemet är organiserat i territoriella, suveräna stater – ett system som vilar på många antaganden. En viktig aspekt är att påståendet att en del av att vara suverän för med sig förmågan att kontrollera ens gränser och förekomsten av icke-medborgare på ens territorium. Samtidigt visar senare utveckling att förhållningssätt (och försök att reglera) individer som korsar gränser kan inte förstås isolerat. För det första verkar födseln av mänskliga rättigheter under 1900-talet utmana grunden för hur suveräna staters funktion. För det andra har den Europeiska Unionen försökt skapa ett gemensamt europeiskt asylsystem (CEAS), vilket leder till att asyl och migration upphör att vara ett ämne reserverat för den suveräna... (More)
Det nuvarande globala systemet är organiserat i territoriella, suveräna stater – ett system som vilar på många antaganden. En viktig aspekt är att påståendet att en del av att vara suverän för med sig förmågan att kontrollera ens gränser och förekomsten av icke-medborgare på ens territorium. Samtidigt visar senare utveckling att förhållningssätt (och försök att reglera) individer som korsar gränser kan inte förstås isolerat. För det första verkar födseln av mänskliga rättigheter under 1900-talet utmana grunden för hur suveräna staters funktion. För det andra har den Europeiska Unionen försökt skapa ett gemensamt europeiskt asylsystem (CEAS), vilket leder till att asyl och migration upphör att vara ett ämne reserverat för den suveräna staten självt.
Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att identifiera de bakomliggande spänningarna i CEAS, och hur dessa formar asyllagstiftning och politik i EU, med ett särskilt fokus på Dublinförordningen. För att uppfylla detta syfte undersöker uppsatsen först viktiga egenskaper hos såväl suveränitet som i mänskliga rättigheter. Genom att göra det har det visat sig att kärnan i den suveräna staten är såväl viljan som behovet att skilja mellan ”inuti” och ”utanför”. Denna gränslinje markeras (och upprätthålls) genom begrepp som medborgarskap och territorialitet, samt att staten använder sitt monopol på legitim användning av våld mot utlänningar (t.ex. genom förvar). I stark kontrast mot detta hävdas mänskliga rättigheter som universella, vilket betyder att rättigheter är inneboende i mänskligheten sig självt, oberoende av t.ex. nationalitet. En närmare undersökning har emellertid visat att människorättsregimen präglas av statscentrism. Statscentrismen hos mänskliga rättigheter är uppenbar både i hur mänskliga rättigheter formuleras, men definitivt också genom beroendet av stater som de medel genom vilka rättigheter ska realiseras. Därför överlever också den suveräna statens logik, då den inte är radikalt utmanad av människorättsordningen.
Denna förståelse av suveränitet och mänskliga rättigheter utgör också den bakgrund mot vilken EU och CEAS har ytterligare diskuterats. Vid första anblick verkar projektet med att skapa EU lova ett behövligt sätt att omdefiniera suveränitet, med ett fokus på kollektiva överväganden och mänskliga rättigheter. Från det här perspektivet skulle CEAS betraktas som skapandet av ett sofistikerat regelverk som skyddar den som behöver det. En noggrannare granskning av logiken i EU och CEAS, tillsammans med diskussioner av relevanta bestämmelser och rättspraxis i Dublinförordningen, har dock slagit hål på detta löfte. Istället når uppsatsen slutsatsen att spänningen mellan suveränitet och mänskliga rättigheter har en djupgående påverkan på hur EU behandlar frågor om migration och asyl, och därför också CEAS. Både EU och CEAS bygger på samma behov att upprätthålla skiljelinjen mellan ”inuti” och ”utanför” på liknande sätt som suveräna stater fungerar, om än på en större skala och med mer innovativa åtgärder. Resultatet är ett system som innehåller tvångsdelar och som förvandlar mänskliga rättigheter till frågor om administrativ byråkrati. (Less)
Abstract
The current global order is organised into territorial, sovereign states – a system built upon many assumptions. One major aspect is the claim that being sovereign entails the ability to control one’s borders as well as the presence of aliens on one’s territory. At the same time, recent developments have shown that approaches to (and attempts to regulate) individuals crossing borders cannot be understood in isolation. Here, the birth of the human rights regime of the 20th century seems to challenge the foundations of the functioning of the sovereign state. Furthermore, the EU has attempted to create a Common European Asylum System, making asylum and migration no longer a matter reserved for the sovereign state alone.
The purpose of this... (More)
The current global order is organised into territorial, sovereign states – a system built upon many assumptions. One major aspect is the claim that being sovereign entails the ability to control one’s borders as well as the presence of aliens on one’s territory. At the same time, recent developments have shown that approaches to (and attempts to regulate) individuals crossing borders cannot be understood in isolation. Here, the birth of the human rights regime of the 20th century seems to challenge the foundations of the functioning of the sovereign state. Furthermore, the EU has attempted to create a Common European Asylum System, making asylum and migration no longer a matter reserved for the sovereign state alone.
The purpose of this thesis is to identify the underlying tensions of the CEAS and how these shape asylum law and policies in the EU, with a particular focus on to the Dublin Regulation. In order to fulfil this purpose, the thesis firstly examines key characteristics of sovereignty as well as the human rights regime. By doing so, it has been shown that at the core of the sovereign state is the want and need to distinguish between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. This borderline is marked (and upheld) through notions such as citizenship and territoriality, as well as the state using its monopoly on legitimate use of force against aliens (e.g. through immigration detention). In stark contrast to this, the human rights regime claims to be universal, meaning that rights are attached to the very notion of being human, irrespective of e.g. nationality. However, a closer examination has shown that the human rights regime is nonetheless characterised by state-centrism. The state-centrism of human rights is evident both in the way in which human rights are formulated, but crucially also through the reliance upon states to constitute the vehicles through which human rights are to be realised. Therefore, the logic of the sovereign state prevails, as it is not radically challenged by the human rights regime.
This understanding of sovereignty and human rights provides the background against which the EU and CEAS have been further examined. At first glance, the very project of establishing the EU seems to promise a much-needed re-conceptualization of sovereignty, with a focus on community considerations and human rights. Seen from this perspective, the CEAS could be regarded as the creation of a sophisticated regional legal framework providing protection to those in need. However, a more thorough examination of the logic and priorities of the EU and CEAS, as well as discussions of relevant provisions and case law in the Dublin Regulation, have established that this promise is left unfulfilled. Instead, tensions between sovereignty and human rights still have profound impacts on how policies on migration and asylum is treated by the EU, and therefore also the CEAS. Both the EU and the CEAS are indeed built on the same need to uphold the distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, similarly to how sovereign states function, albeit arguably on a grander scale and with more innovative measures. The result is a system containing elements of coercion and transforming human rights into questions of managerial bureaucracy. (Less)
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author
Nguyen, Jenny LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
migration law, asylum law, CEAS, Dublin Regulation, EU law, human rights
language
English
id
8955463
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 14:21:03
date last changed
2018-09-12 14:21:03
@misc{8955463,
  abstract     = {The current global order is organised into territorial, sovereign states – a system built upon many assumptions. One major aspect is the claim that being sovereign entails the ability to control one’s borders as well as the presence of aliens on one’s territory. At the same time, recent developments have shown that approaches to (and attempts to regulate) individuals crossing borders cannot be understood in isolation. Here, the birth of the human rights regime of the 20th century seems to challenge the foundations of the functioning of the sovereign state. Furthermore, the EU has attempted to create a Common European Asylum System, making asylum and migration no longer a matter reserved for the sovereign state alone. 
 The purpose of this thesis is to identify the underlying tensions of the CEAS and how these shape asylum law and policies in the EU, with a particular focus on to the Dublin Regulation. In order to fulfil this purpose, the thesis firstly examines key characteristics of sovereignty as well as the human rights regime. By doing so, it has been shown that at the core of the sovereign state is the want and need to distinguish between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. This borderline is marked (and upheld) through notions such as citizenship and territoriality, as well as the state using its monopoly on legitimate use of force against aliens (e.g. through immigration detention). In stark contrast to this, the human rights regime claims to be universal, meaning that rights are attached to the very notion of being human, irrespective of e.g. nationality. However, a closer examination has shown that the human rights regime is nonetheless characterised by state-centrism. The state-centrism of human rights is evident both in the way in which human rights are formulated, but crucially also through the reliance upon states to constitute the vehicles through which human rights are to be realised. Therefore, the logic of the sovereign state prevails, as it is not radically challenged by the human rights regime. 
 This understanding of sovereignty and human rights provides the background against which the EU and CEAS have been further examined. At first glance, the very project of establishing the EU seems to promise a much-needed re-conceptualization of sovereignty, with a focus on community considerations and human rights. Seen from this perspective, the CEAS could be regarded as the creation of a sophisticated regional legal framework providing protection to those in need. However, a more thorough examination of the logic and priorities of the EU and CEAS, as well as discussions of relevant provisions and case law in the Dublin Regulation, have established that this promise is left unfulfilled. Instead, tensions between sovereignty and human rights still have profound impacts on how policies on migration and asylum is treated by the EU, and therefore also the CEAS. Both the EU and the CEAS are indeed built on the same need to uphold the distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, similarly to how sovereign states function, albeit arguably on a grander scale and with more innovative measures. The result is a system containing elements of coercion and transforming human rights into questions of managerial bureaucracy.},
  author       = {Nguyen, Jenny},
  keyword      = {migration law,asylum law,CEAS,Dublin Regulation,EU law,human rights},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {It's not me, it's EU - Critically assessing the relationship between human rights and sovereignty in the CEAS, with a particular focus on the Dublin Regulation},
  year         = {2018},
}