Dr Andrew Shacknove


Dr Shacknove's thesis research in political science addressed US policy regarding Haitian refugees. After being admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts in 1988, he worked in legal services in Cambridge, Mass. and in Miami with the Haitian Refugee Center before joining the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia. There he was member of a team of lawyers helping to establish and implement Malaysia's first refugee status determination process, in response to the exodus of Vietnamese 'boatpeople'. After coming to Britain he served as a consultant to the Home Office on refugee status determination for some years.

In 1990 Andrew joined Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and Queen Elizabeth House (now the University's Department for International Development) for three years as the first Joyce Pearce Research Fellow. In 1993 he was appointed as a University Lecturer in Law by the Department for Continuing Education, where he is the Director of the International Human Rights Law master's programme and summer school.


Andrew currently supervises 11 Human Rights master's students on their dissertations and three DPhil candidates in Law. He also teaches a seminar on international human rights and refugee law and another on research and writing for the master's students.

Research interests

His research concerns forced migration, international human rights law, administrative/constitutional law and political theory. His writings are concerned with asylum, both in developing and developed states. He has written on the definition of 'refugee'; comparative asylum procedures in Europe and North American; Haitian, Vietnamese and other maritime refugees, global changes in asylum policy; and the ethics of refugee policy. His current research stems from recent advocacy with detained asylum-seekers near Oxford.


Primary Publications:

'Who is a Refugee?, Ethics (U. Chicago Press: 1985)

'American Duties to Refugees: Their Scope and Limits', Open Borders, Closed Societies? M. Gibney (ed.) (Basic Books: 1988)

'From Asylum to Containment', Int'l J. Refugee Law (Oxford: 1993)

(with R. Byrne), ‘The Safe Country Concept in European Asylum Law’, Harvard Human Rights J.: 1997)