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Unit information: Migration Law and Policy - International, European, and Human Rights Dimensions in 2020/21

Unit name Migration Law and Policy - International, European, and Human Rights Dimensions
Unit code LAWDM0112
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Acosta Arcarazo
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit explores the international, European and human rights dimensions of migration law and policy. The main focus of the unit will be on European Union immigration law. This will include analysis on the contribution of the institutions of the European Union to the creation, implementation and enforcement of immigration legislation. Attention will also be paid to the contexts in which the European Union creates and influences immigration law as well as the political motivations and consequences of its choices. It will also critically analyse the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the area. In addition to that, the module will also explore how EU Migration law interacts with International and Human Rights law as well as with other areas affecting migration regulation such as citizenship law.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the different levels of regulation of immigration (international, European (regional), municipal)
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the fragmentation of immigration law, and the implications thereof
  3. show an understanding of how the European integration process leads to the imperfect and incomplete regulation of immigration law
  4. make a reasoned critique of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and be able to process complex issues
  5. show a firm grasp of the important legal principles in the field of immigration law and be able to apply them accurately to offer reasoned solutions to hypothetical problem questions
  6. show an understanding of the role of the globalization process on immigration.
  7. understand the impact of citizenship regulation on migration law.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

2 x summative assessments: 2x coursework with a specified word count (50% each)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

There is no textbook for this unit; nonetheless, students may be willing to purchase one or more of these books, depending on their interests; however, note that the commentaries are very expensive and are available in the library. If you would like to buy a particular book we can discuss it in the first lecture so please let me know.

In each seminar we will read several papers. These will be academic works but also think tank policy briefs and reports by international organizations and NGOs. This will provide a wider perspective than simply focusing on purely scholarly commentary.

Some suggestions:

  • S. Peers, E. Guild, D. Acosta, K. Groenendijk and V. Moreno-Lax, EU Migration Law. Text and Commentary (Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden, 2012, 2nd edition).
  • P. Boeles, M. den Heijer, G. Lodder and K. Wouters, European Migration Law (Intersentia, 2014 second edition). A basic but good introduction to many of the topics.
  • Loïc Azoulai and Karin de Vries (eds.), EU Migration Law. Legal Complexities and Political Rationales. Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law (OUP, Oxford, 2014).
  • D. Acosta Arcarazo, The Long-Term Residence Status as a Subsidiary Form of EU Citizenship. An Analysis of Directive 2003/109 (Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden, 2011).
  • A. Baldaccini, E. Guild, H. Toner (eds), Whose freedom, security and justice? : EU immigration and asylum law and policy (Hart, Oxford, 2007).
  • S. Carrera (ed), Security versus freedom? : A challenge for Europe's future (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006).
  • E. Guild, The Legal Elements of a European Identity (Kluwer, 2004).
  • Kay Hailbronner and Daniel Thym (eds.), EU Immigration and Asylum Law – Commentary, Beck/Hart/Nomos, 2016, 2nd edition.
  • Ryszard Cholewinski/Richard Perruchoud/Euan MacDonald, International Migration Law – Developing Paradigms and Key Challenges, Asser Press, 2007.
  • Brian Opeskin, Richard Perruchoud and Jillyanne Redpath-Cross (eds), Foundations of International Migration Law (Cambridge, CUP, 2012).
  • Diego Acosta and Anja Wiesbrock (eds) Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics (Praeger, Santa Barbara, 2015, 791 pp).