Dr Sarah Singer

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Dr Sarah Singer
Lecturer in Refugee Law
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Related institutes:
School of Advanced Study
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Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Human rights, International Law
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Mar-2017 Migration Law and Policy: 'Undesirable and Unreturnable'

Journal articles

 Aliens Symposium (2017) 36(1) Refugee Survey Quarterly, co-edited with Joris van Wijk, David James Cantor and Maarten Bolhuis.

01-Mar-2017 Criminal Justice and “Undesirable” Aliens Special Issue

Journal articles

 15(1) Journal of International Criminal Justice, co-edited with Joris van Wijk, David James Cantor and Maarten Bolhuis.

01-Mar-2017 Undesirable and Unreturnable Migrants in the United Kingdom

Journal articles

 In 36(1) Refugee Survey Quarterly 9–34.

01-Mar-2017 Exclusion Clauses of the Refugee Convention in relation to national immigration legislation, European policy and human rights instruments, Zarif Yakut-Bahtiyar


(2017) 29(1) International Journal of Refugee Law 198-200.

17-Feb-2017 The Human Rights of Migrants and Refugees in European Law

(Feb 2017) Border Criminologies

03-Oct-2016 No Safe Refuge: Experiences of LGBT asylum seekers in detention

Research aids

(field researcher), Stonewall and the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (October 2016).

09-May-2016 Undesirable and Unreturnable? Policy challenges around excluded asylum seekers and other migrants suspected of serious criminality who cannot be removed

Refugee Law Initiative (University of London) and Centre for Criminal Justice (VU University Amsterdam), co-authored with Joris van Wijk, David Cantor and Maarten Bolhuis (May 2016).

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Feb-2017 ‘Undesirable and Unreturnable’ in the United Kingdom


The issue of migrants convicted or suspected of serious criminality is one that has been high on the media and political agenda in the UK in the last two decades. This paper focuses on three categories of (suspected) criminal migrants - foreign national offenders, individuals considered to pose a security risk and those excluded from refugee status under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention - outlining the scale and demographic of these groups in the UK, governmental measures taken to facilitate their removal and the consequences for those that nevertheless remain. This examination reveals that, despite the UK’s emphasis on removal, legal obstacles and administrative problems continue to frustrate many attempts to remove such persons. As a result, large numbers of individuals are released into the community or remain in detention for often prolonged periods of time. In the case of excluded asylum-seekers, these individuals are subject to an extremely precarious form of leave. The result is these ‘undesirable’ migrants remain in a form of ‘limbo’, with no firm legal status and the prospect of removal ever present. If the emphasis remains on removal rather than looking to alternative in-country solutions that are more than temporary in nature, a viable solution to this issue is likely to remain elusive.

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