Research Seminar with Julian Lehmann on 20 May

Dear Colleagues,

Julian Lehmann is a doctoral candidate at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin who currently guests the Faculty of Law. On 20 May, he will present a paper-in-progress entitled

“Anything Goes in Protection Capacity Building? Perspectives for Multilateral Assistance in Strenghtening National Asylum Systems”.

Please find an abstract below. Julian is very much interested in comments and critique. To request the paper, please be in touch with

Date and Time: 20 May, 14.15 hrs.

Venue: Röda Tornrummet, Juridicum, 4th floor.

Most welcome!

Gregor Noll



Anything Goes in Protection Capacity Building? Perspectives for Multilateral Assistance in Strenghtening National Asylum System

Deficiencies in national asylum systems are a major obstacle for ensuring access to asylum. As a result, States increasingly assist other States in developing and strengthening the capacity of their national asylum systems. Such capacity building may aim to improve refugee status determination procedures, improve reception conditions, or access to durable solutions. This paper explores the legal and political challenges involved in such capacity building. First, it considers the design of capacity building programs in line with State obligations under human rights and refugee law, as well as the appropriate accountability standards by donors and recipients. It also addresses the potential relevance of protection capacity building for the EU law concepts ‘First Country of Asylum’ and ‘Safe Third Country’. Drawing on these challenges, the paper enquires whether there is such thing as a human rights and refugee law approach to capacity building for national asylum systems. Second, the paper maps past and current capacity building endeavors by EU States, EU institutions and the UNHCR, identifying their contexts, goals, scopes, and accountability mechanisms. Using the legal challenges identified, and past insights on the effectiveness of capacity building, the paper analyses these projects.Past Projects overstressed the technical and training aspects of capacity building while underscoring the political aspects. Although there is no evidence that protection capacity building in third countries was used to restrict access to asylum within the EU, all projects were embedded within broader migration-management projects that may conflict with the overall aim of refugee protection.