Professor Lambert joined UTS in 2019 as an expert in international refugee law. Her latest book 'International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons', co-authored with Michelle Foster, is published by Oxford University Press (2019). She is also author of 'Seeking Asylum' (Martinus Nijhoff 1995), 'The Position of Aliens in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights' (Council of Europe 2001, 2007), 'International Law and International Relations', with D Armstrong and T Farrell (Cambridge University Press 2007, 2012), and editor of 'The Limits of Transnational Law', with G S Goodwin-Gill (CUP 2010), 'International Refugee Law' (Ashgate 2010) and 'The Global Reach of European Refugee Law', with J McAdam and M Fullerton (CUP 2013).
Hélène is currently completing a collaborative project with Jane McAdam and Michelle Foster on “The Notion of ‘Imminence’ in the International Protection of Refugees and Other Forced Migrants”, funded by the Australian Research Council. She is a Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative (University of London), an Editorial Board member of International Refugee Law Book Series, published by Martinus Nijhoff, an Academic Friend of the United Nations, Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law.
Prior to joining UTS, Hélène was Professor of Law at the University of Wollongong, Professor of International Law at the University of Westminster (London) where she was also Law Research Director, Senior Lecturer at Brunel University, Lecturer at the University of Exeter, and Lecturer at the University of the West of England in the UK. She has also worked as a Protection (legal) Officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has been a stagiaire ad hoc at the Council of Europe (Strasbourg), a visiting fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre (University of Oxford), and a Dyason Fellow at the University of Melbourne, School of Law, and has acted as a consultant for UNHCR, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and the Swedish Ministry of Justice.
Hélène holds a PhD in Comparative Asylum Law from the University of Exeter.
- PhD University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
- Maitrise University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
- Licence University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
- French can read, write, speak, understand and peer review
Can supervise: YES
- Refugee protection and forced migration
- International law and International Relations
- Transnational Law and Comparative Jurisprudence
- EU law
Hélène has published numerous books and articles on refugee law, statelessness, human rights, and international law, including Seeking Asylum (Martinus Nijhoff, 1995); The Position of Aliens in realtion to the European Convention on Human Rights (Council of Europe, 2001, 2007); International Law and International Relations, co-authored with David Armstrong and Theo Farrell (Cambridge University Press 2007, 2012); The Limits of Transnational Law, co-edited with Guy S. Goodwin-Gill (Cambridge University Press, 2010); International Refugee Law, edited for the Library of Essays in International Law series (Ashgate, 2010); The Global Reach of European Refugee Law, co-edited with Jane McAdam and Maryellen Fullerton (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Her latest book International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons, co-authored with Michelle Foster (Melbourne Law School) is published by Oxford University Press (2019). She is currently working on a collaborative project with Jane McAdam and Michelle Foster on “The Concept of ‘Imminence’ in the International Protection of Refugees and Other Forced Migrants”, funded by the Australian Research Council (2016-2020).
Core subject: 70106 Principles of Public International Law (JD students) – coordinator and teacher
Hélène has over twenty-five years teaching experience across five universities in the UK and Australia. She has taught on a range of subjects including public international law, European law, and international refugee law and human rights.
This book addresses a critical gap in existing scholarship by examining statelessness through the prism of international refugee law, in particular by examining the extent to which the 1951 Refugee Convention protects de jure stateless persons. It responds to the need for a coherent and inclusive legal framework to address the plight of stateless individuals who fear persecution. The central hypothesis of this book is that the capacity and potential of the 1951 Refugee Convention to protect stateless persons has been inadequately developed and understood. This is particularly so when we consider the significant transformation that has occurred over the past sixty years in delimiting state discretion in matters of nationality, including in relation to the acquisition and deprivation of nationality, and the treatment of non-nationals. While it may once have been correct to assume that matters of nationality were largely outside the realm of international law, the advent of international human rights law in particular has limited state sovereignty in this respect. Accordingly, whether a stateless person is also a refugee potentially admits of a very different answer in light of modern international human rights law as compared to 1951.
Lambert, H 2017, International Refugee Law, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)), London and New York.
The essays selected and reproduced in this volume explore how international refugee law is dynamic and constantly evolving.
© Cambridge University Press 2013. Europe has the most advanced regional protection regime in the world. The predicted impact of this body of norms, including the new Common European Asylum System, has been widely identified as one that will have a 'ripple effect' beyond the EU. However, very few studies have noted the fact that this regime has already influenced the law and practice of states around the world, for some time. The purpose of this book is to gather evidence that emulation is happening (if it is), to explore the extent and identify the processes through which it is happening, and to examine the implications of these findings. A review of seven case studies reveals all but one of these cases provides clear evidence of emulation at some point in time. The EU protection regime, which has been most influenced by the European Court of Human Rights, is 'naturally' evolving transnationally and spreading internationally.
© Cambridge University Press 2010. State authority and power have become diffused in an increasingly globalized world characterized by the freer trans-border movement of people, objects and ideas. As a result, some international law scholars believe that a new world order is emerging based on a complex web of transnational networks. Such a transnational legal order requires sufficient dialogue between national courts. This 2010 book explores the prospects for such an order in the context of refugee law in Europe, focusing on the use of foreign law in refugee cases. Judicial practice is critically analysed in nine EU member states, with case studies revealing a mix of rational and cultural factors that lead judges to rarely use each others' decisions within the EU. Conclusions are drawn for the prospects of a Common European Asylum System and for international refugee law.
Lambert, H 2010, International Refugee Law, Ashgate Publishing.
The essays selected and reproduced in this volume explore how international refugee law is dynamic and constantly evolving.
© David Armstrong, Theo Farrell and Hélène Lambert 2007. Events such as the legal arguments surrounding the 2003 Iraq War and the creation of the International Criminal Court highlight the significance of international law in the contemporary world. This new textbook provides an introduction to the relationship between international law and international relations. David Armstrong, Theo Farrell and Hélène Lambert explore the evolution, nature and function of international law in world politics and situate international law in its historical and political context. They propose three interdisciplinary 'lenses' through which to view the role of international law in world politics: realist, liberal and constructivist. These lenses offer different ways of looking at international law in terms of what it is, how it works and how it changes. Topics covered include the use of force, human rights, international crimes, international trade and the environment, and each chapter features discussion questions and guides to further reading.
Lambert, H 2006, The Position of Aliens in Relation to the European Convention on Human Rights, Council of Europe.
It is against this backdrop that The Position of Aliens in Relation to the European Convention on Human Rights is re-examined in a third edition.
Lambert, H 1995, Seeking Asylum Comparative Law and Practice in Selected European Countries, Kluwer Law International.
Anderson, A, Foster, M, Lambert, H & McAdam, J 2019, 'Imminence In Refugee And Human Rights Law: A Misplaced Notion For International Protection', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 111-140.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Copyright © 2019 British Institute of International and Comparative Law. This article is an output of a major research project examining the notion of imminence in the law on international protection. It is the first piece of scholarship to identify an emerging trend, namely the introduction of imminence - whether invoked implicitly or explicitly - as a potential barrier to refugee status or complementary protection. The article analyses the jurisprudence of relevant international bodies and courts and critiques the validity of this notion as a tool for assessing States' protection obligations.
Lambert, H 2017, 'Temporary refuge from war: Customary international law and the Syrian conflict', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 723-745.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2017. The rule of temporary refuge forms the cornerstone of the response of States to large-scale influx of refugees. In the context of civilians fleeing armed conflict, this legal rule imposes a positive obligation on all States to admit and not to return anyone to a situation where there is a risk to life, and to provide basic rights commensurate with human dignity. Also implicit in the rule is the expectation of shared responsibility for large numbers of refugees and of international cooperation towards finding durable solutions. This article examines the customary international law of temporary refuge (also known as temporary protection) in relation to the Syrian conflict. It discusses implementation of the rule in the practice of three countries neighbouring Syria, and in the EU. It finds that the practice of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan has been consistent with the rule of temporary refuge. However, the EU has decided not to use the Temporary Protection Directive; instead individual Member States have relied on the Refugee Convention and EU law, combined with various other measures not pertinent to temporary protection. It is concluded that shared responsibility is the linchpin of temporary refuge. Absent this keystone, the rule of temporary refuge is likely to continue to be implemented primarily in a regional context by those countries nearest to the country affected by the conflict, as in the case of Syria.
Foster, M & Lambert, H 2016, 'Statelessness as a human rights issue: A concept whose time has come', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 564-584.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. The protection of stateless persons has long been understood as a challenge for the international community. However, for many of the past 60 years, a prioritized focus on refugees has dominated, or even eclipsed, the plight and protection needs of stateless persons. Guy Goodwin-Gill has long argued for a refocus of international attention and effort on the plight, predicament, and protection needs of stateless persons. In a seminal contribution over two decades ago he observed that, at that time, statelessness was perceived by many as a mere 'technical problem', yet, 'statelessness is indeed a broad human rights issue, even as it retains a distinct technical dimension. In light of developments since this incisive analysis, this article examines the challenge set by Goodwin-Gill for the international community, namely, to provide greater recognition of and protection for stateless persons. It celebrates the positive developments and identifies areas of ongoing challenge. The focus is on the key initiatives Goodwin-Gill identified as requiring attention, the progress made in relation to each, and, predominantly, on the relevance of developments in human rights law.
Lambert, H 2015, 'Comparatives Perspectives on Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality and Refugee Status', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 1-37.
Lambert, H 2013, 'The next frontier: Expanding protection in europe for victims of armed conflict and indiscriminate violence', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 207-234.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This article examines the protection currently afforded in Europe to victims of armed conflict and indiscriminate violence in the context of article 15c of the EC Qualification Directive (QD) and article 3 of the ECHR. It analyses the recent case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Court of Human Rights, and five member states (the UK, Germany, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands) with a view to identifying current legislation and state practice within Europe. It builds on an article by Lambert and Farrell to show how article 15c, as interpreted by the CJEU in Elgafaji, provides scope for broadening protection. It also discusses the relationship between article 3 ECHR and article 15c QD and human dignity as a core value in international protection. Finally, it considers the recent case law of European courts (both regional and national) and argues that this shows practical reasoning about the range of threats facing people fleeing conflict and violence and an awareness of a wider range of problems than previously recognized in protection cases. Nonetheless, there continues to be uncertainty regarding the threshold of indiscriminate violence required to satisfy article 15c. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Lambert, H 2012, ''Safe third country' in the European Union: An evolving norm in international law and implications for the UK', Tolleys Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 318-336.
Lambert, H & Farrell, T 2010, 'The Changing Character of Armed Conflict and the Implications for Refugee Protection Jurisprudence', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 237-273.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lambert, H 2009, 'TRANSNATIONAL JUDICIAL DIALOGUE, HARMONIZATION AND THE COMMON EUROPEAN ASYLUM SYSTEM', INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW QUARTERLY, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 519-543.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lambert, H, Messineo, F & Tiedemann, P 2008, 'Comparative perspectives of constitutional asylum in France, Italy, and Germany: Requiescat in pace?', Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 16-32.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Most countries provide asylum through domestic legislation, such as a statute incorporating the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. France, Italy, and Germany stand out as three of very few European countries specifically to guarantee a right of asylum in their national Constitutions. The origin, wording, and scope of these constitutional provisions vary, depending on historical factors specific to each country. This article examines the right of asylum guaranteed in the Constitutions of France, Italy, and Germany from a historical perspective. It discusses how this right has evolved in all three countries, especially in light of the Refugee Convention and recent European Asylum Legislation. It concludes that however unique and individual constitutional asylum has traditionally been regarded as in France, Italy, and Germany, international obligations and recent European commitments have absorbed its distinctiveness, making it a redundant, almost obsolete, concept. © UNHCR . All rights reserved.
Lambert, H 2006, 'The EU asylum qualification directive, its impact on the jurisprudence of the united kingdom and international law', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 161-192.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In April 2004, the Council of the European Union adopted a Directive on minimum standards for the qualification of foreigners as refugees and the content of the protection granted. This article discusses the likely impact of this Directive on the jurisprudence of the United Kingdom relating to asylum. It recognises that some provisions in the Directive could be used by the Member States as a way of lowering their existing standards. It also finds that in some places the Qualification Directive provides less in terms of protection than the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (or the European Convention on Human Rights) itself. This leads us to examine the relationship between EU law and international law, in particular in cases where the lowering of standard by a member state entails the violation of an international treaty, and the European Court of Justice is required to examine the legality of the Directive (and of national implementation measures) in light of international law. What is the relationship between the Qualification Directive and international law? Are the national courts and the European Court of Justice obliged to apply the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in cases of conflict between it and the Qualification Directive? This article answers these questions by drawing comparison with the relationship between EU law and the GATT WTO law. It finds that the doctrine of direct effect is going to be central to the relationship between the Qualification Directive and the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. It concludes by considering the function of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees following the entry into force of the Qualification Directive.
Lambert, H 2005, 'The European convention on human rights and the protection of refugees: Limits and opportunities', Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 39-55.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Farrell, T & Lambert, H 2001, 'Courting controversy: international law, national norms and American nuclear use', REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 309-326.
Lambert, H 2001, 'The Conceptualisation of 'Persecution' by the House of Lords: Horvath v. Secretary of State for the Home Department', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 13, no. 1 and 2, pp. 16-31.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lambert, H 1999, 'Building a European Asylum Policy under the 'First Pillar' of the Consolidated Treaty establishing the European Community', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 328-337.
On 24 June 1998, the Commission adopted two proposals for joint action on asylum matters, one concerning temporary protection of displaced persons, the other concerning solidarity in the reception and residence of beneficiaries of temporary protection. The principles laid down in the text of these joint actions offer a realistic, and to some extent satisfactory, solution to refugee protection in the Union. Notwithstanding the fact that certain issues remain unresolved amongst the Member States, it is likely that the bulk of the draft proposals will obtain political agreement during 1999.
Lambert, H 1999, 'Protection against refoulement from Europe: Human rights law comes to the rescue', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 515-544.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lambert, H 1999, 'The European Court of Human Rights and the right of refugees and other persons in need of protection to family reunion', International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 427-450.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR50) does not provide an absolute right for individuals, it does impose certain obligations on States. In any dispute arising under this article, the European Court of Human Rights must balance two sets of competing interests, the right of individuals to private and family life, on one hand, and the interests of the community, on the other. To this end, the Court applies certain general principles but its approach in respect of article 8 is surprising for its lack of any specific criteria. The Court distinguishes between cases of entry of non-citizens into the territory of a contracting State for family reunion purposes, and cases of removal or deportation, for example, as a consequence of criminal conviction, resulting in the break up of family life. In cases of entry, the Court's approach to whether it is reasonable to expect non-citizens to develop family life elsewhere is particularly restrictive. This is because it balances the applicant's right against the State's interest at the early stage of establishing an interference under article 8(1). As a result, no interference has yet been found by the Court in such cases. In cases of removal, on the other hand, the Court will usually balance the individual's rights against the community's interests at the later stage of considering whether or not the interference was 'necessary in a democratic society' under article 8(2). Recent cases suggest that the Court is now scrutinising more closely the seriousness of the offences committed by the non-citizen, and looking predominantly at elements of family life. This being the case, where a refugee or a person in need of protection has committed serious offences and can show no strong family ties in the country of residence, he or she may only be protected against removal under article 3 ECHR50. However, where the person in need of protection has not committed a serious offence, the balance of interest would ...
Lambert, H 1995, 'Seeking Asylum on Gender Grounds', International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 153-178.
Lambert, H 2019, 'Europe's power to influence the laws and practice of international protection worldwide' in Frontières, Sociétés et Droit en Mouvement, Bruylant, France, pp. 149-164.
This chapter explores Europe's normative power in refugee law understood to mean the power of the European Union (EU) to influence the laws and practice of countries outside Europe1. The chapter is partly based on a collaborative project, which examined both the extent and the processes of emulation of EU asylum law. The regions and countries considered as case studies spanned across 5 continents: North America (United States, Canada), Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela), Africa, Europe (EU, Israel, Switzerland) and Australia2. The research project explored the worldwide emulation of key norms and trends of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), through transnational processes and actors operating within and across domestic borders (such as legislators, regulators, judges and interest groups). In particular, was tested the hypothesis that the European protection regime, being one of the most advanced in the world and covering 25 countries3, is bound to exert considerable influence in other regions. Thus, one may see a « ripple effect » or « trickling effect » far beyond Europe4. This state of affairs raises a number of key questions: How is this happening? How are laws and practice on refugee protection migrating, where to, what happens to them once in their new environment, and why is this happening?
Lambert, H 2014, 'Family Unity in Migration Law' in Research HANDBOOK on international law and migration, Edward Elgar, pp. 194-215.
Stevens, D, Kneebone, S & Baldassar, L 2014, 'Conflicting identities, protection and the role of law' in Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities, pp. 3-21.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lambert, H 2011, 'Article 2 (General Obligations)' in The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and Its 1967 Protocol A Commentary, Oxford University Press, pp. 625-642.
A Commentary Jonas Dörschner, Felix Machts Andreas Zimmermann ... 37 Three
amendments were introduced (by Australia, Belgium, and France),38 and
withdrawn, and the text of Art. 2, as stated ... that a provision on the general
obligations of refugees should exclude from its scope matters relating to military
service and ...
© Cambridge University Press 2013. In its core, this volume is about the emulation of European legal norms of refugee protection in other parts of the world. The main purpose of the volume is threefold: to gather evidence that emulation is happening (if it is); to explore the extent of such emulation and identify the processes through which it is happening; and to examine the implications of these findings in terms of trends. Thus, the chapters investigate existing patterns of emulation and discuss, where appropriate, how these might continue in the future. A review of the case studies reveals that all but one of these cases (the United States) provides clear evidence of emulation at some point in time. The EU protection regime, which has been most influenced by the non-refoulement jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, is 'naturally' evolving transnationally and is spreading internationally. The role of 'formal' processes also cannot be ignored (e.g., bilateral agreements and treaties), and these are illustrated by the case studies of Israel and Switzerland. However, what this volume reveals is another picture of 'natural' diffusion and emulation into the legal systems of non-EU countries through more 'informal' transnational processes. Crucially also, this volume accounts for a complex set of rules, practices and ideas, that lies behind European refugee law. Notably, the EU (and all of its twenty-seven Member States) has a normative 'safety mechanism' in place that is unique to Europe (namely, the ECHR with the European Court of Human Rights, and the CJEU). As a result, EU norms are constantly evolving, and many of them are becoming more liberal under the influence of this double-judicial check. Not all States outside Europe may be aware of these constant adjustments being made to restrictive norms.
© Cambridge University Press 2013. Europe has the most advanced regional protection regime in the world. The regime has taken shape through a series of legal undertakings on asylum, refugee law principles and human rights between Member States of the European Union (EU), aiming at an ever-greater uniformity in the law and practice of its members. The EU sought to codify a common regional system of asylum by 2012, in order to provide a single asylum procedure and a uniform protection status. A regime covering twenty-four countries, including some of the most developed and powerful in the world, is bound to exert considerable influence beyond Europe. The predicted impact of this body of EU norms has been widely identified in the academic literature as one that will have a 'ripple effect' beyond the EU, particularly with respect to the evolving content of international refugee law by means of changing customary law and UNHCR practice. However, very few studies have noted the fact that the European protection regime has already influenced the law and practice of States around the world, for some time. The implications of this are great, in terms of understanding the global reach of regional systems of law, and how this shapes the relationship between international rules and standards, and national law and practice across the world when it comes to refugee protection. This volume explores the extent to which European (or EU) legal norms of refugee protection have been emulated in other parts of the world, and assesses the implications of these trends. At times, the norms may not have had much discernible influence. This, too, is of interest. The aim of this volume is therefore more evaluative than speculative. We believe that now is a good time to take stock and assess the influence of European refugee law beyond the EU. This is because the first phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) legislation (which codifies over twenty years of State practice) has conc...
Lambert, H 2010, 'The British Judiciary and the Search for Reciprocal Relations with its Continental Partners' in The Limits of Transnational Law: Refugee Law, Policy Harmonization and Judicial Dialogue in the European Union, pp. 125-149.
Lambert, H 2010, 'Transnational Law, Judges, and Refugees in the European Union' in The Limits of Transnational Law Refugee Law, Policy Harmonization and Judicial Dialogue in the European Union, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-16.
A comparative analysis of the extent and role of transnational judicial dialogue in European refugee law, first published in 2010.
Lambert, H 2010, 'Transnational Refugee Law in the French Courts' in The Limits of Transnational Law Refugee Law, Policy Harmonization and Judicial Dialogue in the European Union, Cambridge University Press, pp. 35-56.
Lambert, H 2009, 'International Refugee Law: Dominant and Emerging Approaches' in Armstrong, D (ed), Routledge Handbook of International Law, Routledge, pp. 344-354.
Refugee. Law: Dominant. and. Emerging. Approaches. Hélène. Lambert.
International refugee law scholarship has long been dominated by a positivist
tradition within which the human rights approach has now become the dominant
Lambert, H 2004, 'A Missed Opportunity? EU Law and Asylum in the 21st Century' in Tridimas, T & Nebbia, P (eds), European law for the Twenty First Century: Rethinking the New Legal Order, Hart, pp. 361-375.
Lambert, H 2000, 'Contempt of Court in French Law: A Criminal Offence' in Addo, M (ed), Freedom of Expression and the Criticism of Judges, Ashgate, pp. 113-125.
Lambert, H 1995, 'Asylum Seekers, Refugees and the European Community: case studies of France and the United Kingdom' in Miles, R & Thranhardt, D (eds), Migration and European Integration, Pinter, pp. 112-131.