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The International Protection of the Residents of ‘Camp Liberty’- by Guy S. Goodwin-Gill

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Guy Goodwin-Gill is a barrister and a professor of public international law at Oxford University and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.
Guy Goodwin-Gill is a barrister and a professor of public international law at Oxford University and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

1. I am asked to advise further on the protection status of the residents of ‘Camp Liberty’. This opinion can be read together with earlier advice dated 23 May 2013 (‘The Protection and Security of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Iraq: The Case of the Refugees in Camps Ashraf and Liberty’) and 1 August 2011 (‘The protection of the residents of Ashraf in the province of Diyala, Iraq, considered with reference to international refugee law and the role and responsibility of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’).

2. In particular, I am asked to advise as to the basis in international refugee law and practice, if any, of the use by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of the term ‘international protection need’ to describe this population, rather than ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’, or ‘person of concern’. It is undisputed that all of this group would likely be at risk of persecution if returned to their country of origin.

3. Second, I am asked to advise generally on the applicability of the ‘exclusion clauses’, and specifically, whether any participation in any military activity at any time is sufficient of itself to exclude a person from protection as a refugee.

4. Third,  I  am  asked  to  advise  on  the  nature  and  content  of  UNHCR’s responsibilities when dealing with refugees and asylum seekers in urgent need of medical treatment.

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