Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

288.42 sec. 001 - The Future of Asylum: The Case of the U.S.-Mexico Border (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Kate Jastram  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


W 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 20, 2021
To March 03, 2021

Course Start: January 20, 2021
Course End: March 03, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 32649
Class Number: 32649

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 27
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 40
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

Asylum is under pressure around the world, with many developed countries in particular seeking to evade their treaty obligations to refugees, and rising numbers of forcibly displaced persons. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, what is the future of asylum? This class will explore the past, present and future of the international refugee regime using the U.S.- Mexico border as a case study. We will examine the international and domestic law rationale for having an asylum system in the first place: who benefits, who is left out, and why? We’ll assess measures taken by the U.S. government since 2017 to deny access to territory and to procedures; to deter through criminal prosecution, family separation and detention; and to defy Congressional intent and international law by redefining terms, overruling precedent, and politicizing asylum adjudication. We’ll then look at efforts to counter these steps - by representation of individual asylum seekers, by challenging policies in court, by engaging in the administrative rulemaking process, by working with Congress on oversight and marker bills, by forming new coalitions inside and outside the U.S., and by public education and messaging. If there is a new direction in January, we will discuss legal avenues and pitfalls for unwinding the thicket of changes made by the executive branch, potential legislative priorities, and operational issues that will challenge any administration in reviving a system that has been essentially destroyed, much less making it better than it was before. If the government stays on the same course, we will explore what other levers could be used to protect refugees. There are no prerequisites for this course, and it is open to 1Ls. It is an excellent introduction to the law, policy, and politics of a critical humanitarian and national security issue.

The instructor is director of policy and advocacy at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings. She has worked for UNHCR and for the Department of Homeland Security, has served as an expert on asylum for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and was part of the ABA Commission on Immigration’s Civil Immigration Detention Standards Advisory Task Force. She is active in the leadership of the American Society of International Law and now serves on the Executive Committee of its International Refugee Law Interest Group. Her most recent article, with Sayoni Maitra, is Matter of A-B- One Year Later: Winning Back Gender-Based Asylum Through Litigation and Legislation, 18(1) SANTA CLARA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 48 (2020). She has been a lecturer at Berkeley Law since 2002.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: International and Comparative Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Social Justice and Public Interest

The following file is available for this course:

First Assignment

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