Removing barriers to protection at the exported border : visas, carrier sanctions, and international obligation

Francis, Angus J. (2009) Removing barriers to protection at the exported border : visas, carrier sanctions, and international obligation. In Farrall, Jeremy & Rubenstein, Kim (Eds.) Sanctions, Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 378-406.


Asylum is being gradually denuded of the national institutional mechanisms (judicial, legislative and administrative) that provide the framework for a fair and effective asylum hearing. In this sense, there is an ongoing ‘denationalization’ or ‘deformalization’ of the asylum process. This chapter critically examines one of the linchpins of this trend: the erection of pre-entry measures at ports of embarkation in order to prevent asylum seekers from physically accessing the territory of the state.

Pre-entry measures comprise the core requirement that foreigners possess an entry visa granting permission to enter the state of destination. Visa requirements are increasingly implemented by immigration officials posted abroad or by officials of transit countries pursuant to bilateral agreements (so-called ‘juxtaposed’ immigration controls). Private carriers, which are subject to sanctions if they bring persons to a country who do not have permission to enter, also engage in a form of de facto immigration control on behalf of states. These measures constitute a type of ‘externalized’ or ‘exported’ border that pushes the immigration boundaries of the state as far from its physical boundaries as possible.

Pre-entry measures have a crippling impact on the ability of asylum seekers to access the territory of states to claim asylum. In effect, states have ‘externalized’ asylum by replacing the legal obligation on states to protect refugees arriving at ports of entry with what are perceived to be no more than moral obligations towards asylum seekers arriving at the external border of the state.

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ID Code: 42482
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: International Law, International Refugee Law, Carrier Sanctions, Protection Obligations
ISBN: 9780521114929
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > International Law (excl. International Trade Law) (180116)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 06 Jul 2011 23:55
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:08

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