Course DescriptionThis seminar focuses primarily on U.S. refugee law, while at the same time exploring its internal origins and comparing it with international norms of refugee protection. The course considers the concepts of a well-founded fear of persecution and a threat to life or freedom, the requirement that the persecution feared be "on account of" one of five grounds, the process for seeking protection from removal as a refugee, the bars to eligibility, and the rights of asylum seekers. Each of the five bases for obtaining protection as a refugee are examined, with a particular focus on controversial areas such as claims to refugee status related to gender, domestic violence, and sexual orientation. Other responses to refugee crises, such as conferral of temporary protection, are also explored. Finally, the course examines the scope and limitations of the protections against repatriation set forth in the United Nations Convention Against Torture and implementing domestic legislation.