Academic Praise for International Law of Migrant Smuggling

“The International Law of Migrant Smuggling represents one of the most thorough and thoughtful efforts to date to construct a corner of this jigsaw puzzle, particularly as it relates to the breadth of relevant legal sources and its connections with other areas of international law.  The growth of the field of international migration law depends on projects such as this one that step away from a small-bore focus on one legal instrument or one tiny segment of the field, instead presenting the vast complex of international legal sources that bear on the movement of people across borders.” Professor Jaya Ranji-Nogales, Georgetown University.

The International Law of Migrant Smuggling (Gallagher & David 2014) was recently reviewed by Professor Ranji-Nogales of Georgetown University.  As she notes in her review, the International Law of Migrant Smuggling was written before the current “migrant crisis” that has seen more people on the move than in any time in recorded history.

“Published in 2014, the book was in the hands of the printers before the “surge” of Central American migrants sought protection at the southwest border of the United States in the summer of 2014, before more than one million migrants arrived at Europe’s sea borders in 2015, and before thousands of migrants seeking safety in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand were left stranded at sea during the summer of 2015.”

Nonetheless the principles and flaws in the existing legal framework set out in our book remain highly relevant today.  In fact, a clear understanding of the extent and limits of the existing legal framework around migrant smuggling is critical to understanding why we so badly need an international legal framework on migration.  As my co-author Dr Anne Gallagher notes in the Preface to our book,

“…as long as the law remains unclear, States can continue to argue about it. As long as the law remains unclear, they will, almost certainly, not be bought to task for failing to apply it.”

In 2015, a year after this book was published, it was both historic and heartening that the international community agreed to the inclusion of “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration” in the Sustainable Development Goals.  However, this goal cannot be achieved without a clear legal framework on migration – a framework currently in the very early stages of discussion, through the planned UN Global Compact on Migration (more here).

You can read Professor Ramji-Nogales full review here.

The International Law of Migrant Smuggling (2014, Dr Anne Gallagher & Fiona David) is available for purchase through Cambridge University Press.

Posted by Fiona David Sunday April 30 2017

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