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Who Is a Refugee? Uncertainty and Discretion in Asylum Decisions
International Journal of Refugee Law Pub Date : 2021-04-29 , DOI: 10.1093/ijrl/eeab003
Liodden T.

Abstract
Assessing claims for refugee status is a task often riddled with uncertainties, not least because of the challenge of establishing the credibility of the claims. The uncertainties enable divergent interpretations of both evidence and legal rules, thereby constituting a space for discretion in the refugee status determination process. This article explores how decision makers in the Norwegian asylum system reached a conviction about the outcome of asylum claims, despite numerous uncertainties. Decision makers who worked closely together developed a system of distinction that enabled them to single out applicants with protection needs from those who were not considered to be eligible. This system ordered the space for discretion, thereby reducing doubts about the outcome. It was based on the law and other formal sources, but also on recognizing patterns of difference and similarity with previous decisions. The emphasis on comparison between cases meant that the outcome of an individual application could not be understood in isolation; the distinctions between applicants who were accepted and those who were rejected depended, in part, on the case set as a whole. The findings suggest that, in a context of uncertainty, refugee status is to some extent determined by producing a local yardstick of who ‘the refugee’ is.


中文翻译:

谁是难民?庇护决定的不确定性和谨慎性

摘要
评估难民身份申请是一项经常充满不确定性的任务,尤其是因为在确定申请的可信度方面存在挑战。不确定性导致对证据和法律规则的不同解释,从而构成了难民身份确定过程中的自由裁量空间。本文探讨了挪威庇护系统的决策者如何在众多不确定因素的情况下对庇护申请的结果达成一致。密切合作的决策者制定了一套区分系统,使他们能够从那些被认为不符合条件的人中挑选出有保护需求的申请人。该系统为自由裁量权安排了空间,从而减少了对结果的怀疑。它基于法律和其他正式来源,以及识别与先前决策的差异和相似模式。强调案例之间的比较意味着不能孤立地理解个别申请的结果;被接受的申请人和被拒绝的申请人之间的区别部分取决于整个案件。研究结果表明,在不确定的背景下,难民地位在某种程度上取决于产生“难民”是谁的当地标准。
更新日期:2021-06-10
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