Public faith in the asylum system is based, among other things, on whether authorities involved in the asylum process are able to distinguish ordinary refugees from asylum-seekers who have committed crimes against humanity or other serious crimes. This report, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion in 2004, examines certain provisions of the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees that gives receiving states the possibility of excluding or exempting a person from refugee status (the so-called "exclusion" and "cessation" clauses). The report's main conclusion is that there is a need for a more systematic and principled approach to exclusion cases in Norwegian jurisprudence. This implies that the international exclusion clauses ought to be applied more frequently than at present, that is, more cases ought to be considered bearing the possibility of exclusion in mind. At the same time, the report also emphasises that international law on exclusion suffers from the weakness that no international refugee court, or similar organ, has so far been established.

Elin Skaar

Senior Researcher, Coordinator: Rights and Legal Institutions

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