Author(s) Ana Isabel Soares Quintas
Advisor(s) Andreia Sofia Pinto Oliveira 
Year 2013

Synopsis This Master thesis is related to the main theme of Refugees and is presented as a demonstration of my personal concern for one of the most current issues of the international law. Established in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Principle of Non-Refoulement starts its fundamental task of protecting this vital group of individuals, by prohibiting the expulsion to a country where they may suffer threats against life or freedom in virtue of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, by which the States are obligated regardless of the ratification or not of the mentioned Convention. In junction with this Principle, the 1951 Geneva Convention established the Exclusion Clauses of refugee status, so that all those who committed criminal acts are deemed unworthy of such protection. As could be verified shortly after the entry into force of this Convention, these two institutes clashed with each other through their contrary application, since it seems to impose upon States the obligation to accept such asylum seekers, despite the exclusion, when they claim and prove that they are likely to suffer treatment contrary to the Principle of Non-Refoulement with their expulsion from the asylum state. Thus, this thesis aims to answer this question and confirm that a balance between these institutes is possible even with the current limits created with Terrorism and the new criminal conducts, demonstrating the need for a new interpretive inspiration of the 1951 Geneva Convention standards, exceeding the limits of its historical and political establishment. For an effective solution of this dispute, the analysis of the different legal systems and the current case law is imposed, decoding the new interpretations of the Principle of Non-Refoulement and the Exclusion Clauses of the refugee status.

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