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The Migration Clinic allows students to participate in the activities of NGOs and other actors supporting migrants in France. With the intensification of conflicts in the Middle East, migrants face an unprecedented reception crisis in the European Union Member States. As multiple debates and reforms are developing around ideas of better managing “migratory flows” and better fighting against illegal immigration, civil society, NGOs and students seek for solutions to the multiple “border situations” faced by migrants.
The Migration Clinic addresses cutting-edge issues related to the situation of migrants in France through a number of projects in collaboration with Anafé, La Cimade, Gisti and ADJIE. It allows gaining a rich and complex understanding of immigration law through practice. It also aims at developing or consolidating students’ critical thinking in a context in which political, legal and social discourses contribute to the production of an image of migrants as “threats” or as “undesirables”.
The Migration clinic is open to the Master students of the following programs: Economic Law, European Affairs and PSIA. The program of the clinic is divided in two main components: a clinical course taught by Veronica Corcodel and Christophe Pouly, as well as a group project carried out by students in collaboration with the partners of the Clinic under the supervision of tutors (Veronica Corcodel, Christophe Pouly, Louis Imbert, Lisa Carayon, Magalie Guadalupe-Miranda, Jean-Philippe Foegle, Sophie-Anne Bisiaux, Marine Doisy).
The Migration program is co-taught and co-coordinated by Veronica Corcodel and Christophe Pouly.
Project 1: Asylum Rights in Detention Centers
The European Court of Human Rights decided in 2012 that the French regime of detention undermined migrants’ ability to claim asylum, as well as the effectiveness of domestic legal remedies. The French Government, and subsequently the French legislator, have since sought to make improvements in this area. However, the new administrative and judicial procedures put into place have been largely insufficient, both in relation to the European Convention of Human Rights and to European Union Law. The legal and practical issues raised by these procedures are the main object of analysis of this project, conducted in collaboration with La Cimade. Students’ fieldwork involves observation of relevant judicial practice and interviews with detained asylum seekers.
- Partner: La Cimade
- Tutor: Veronica Corcodel, Researcher
Project 2: Civil society in support of unaccompanied minors
Over the past years, France has witnessed an increasing number of foreign unaccompanied minors, generally hoping to ask for asylum. Institutional actors (State and local authorities) have been unable to cope with this phenomenon, failing to insure the protection imposed by French law. As a result, civil society stepped up. An informal entity, ADJIE (Assistance and Defense of Foreign Unaccompanied Minors), was created to receive, assist and support these minors in the administrative and judicial procedures necessary for obtaining measures of protection. Students are actively involved in the activities of ADJIE, the partner of this project, in often psychologically challenging conditions. This experience will allow them to make an overall assessment of the issue of unaccompanied minors in the region of Ile-de-France. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to assess the activities of ADJIE, i.e. its field of action (political/humanitarian), the commitments of its volunteers, its unique mode of governance, as well as the results of its action.
- Partner: ADJIE
- Tutor: Magalie Guadalupe-Miranda, lawyer
Project 3: "Closed Doors"
The digitalization of administrative procedures had an ‘unexpected’ impact on foreigners: the impossibility to access the authorities in charge with registering their request for a residence permit. For certain requests, official websites do not offer any solution and no other alternatives exist. Students participate in the activities of La Cimade, the partner of this project, which has been increasingly called out to help with such cases. Students’ objective is to seek for solutions to this issue on a case-by-case basis. They collaborate with lawyers filing a legal action against the administration, which is required under French law to register the requests for a residence permit. This project is based on a “cause lawyering” approach.
- Partner: La Cimade
- Tutor: Lisa Carayon, Professor at Université Paris 13, Researcher affiliated at Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux
Project 4: Amicus Curiae
Immigration law is the privileged field for third-party interventions, also called amicus curiae. The latter is a mechanism that was first developed before the European Court of Human Rights, and more recently before the French Constitutional Council. The main objective of third-party interventions is to shed light on the issues at stake, in a manner that exceeds the individual case. It is an expert contribution that may, in certain cases, have an influence on the development of positive law. GISTI, the partner of this project, has agreed to integrate our students into the working group on third-party interventions. This project is subject to procedural constraints, including short deadlines. Students must be responsive, fast, and be able to deliver complex work in a short time. This year, students worked on two third-party interventions before the ECHR and one before the French Constitutional Council.
- Partner: GISTI
- Tutors: Christophe Pouly, lawyer, author and editor at Editions législative and Jean-Philippe Foegle, Ph.D. Candidate (Paris X - Nanterre), GISTI
Project 5: No Entry!
The external border control is the ‘cornerstone’ of immigration and asylum policy. The French border police has a wide discretion for refusing the entry of third-country nationals who are deemed to present a ‘migratory risk’, even though they hold valid documents. What are the elements taken into consideration and what judicial remedies, if any, are available? Working in partnership with ANAFE (National Association for Foreigners’ Border Assistance), students will explore these practices and their effects. In addition, they will evaluate the impact of the recent implementation of a judicial reform on the conditions in which foreigners are maintained in waiting zones and the effective exercise of their rights. This recent change involves the relocation of the judge who examines the legality of migrants’ deprivation of liberty in the proximity of waiting zones.
- Partner: ANAFE
- Tutors: Louis Imbert, Ph.D. Candidate at Sciences Po Paris ; Sophie-Anne Bisiaux, 2nd year of master in human rights and humanitarian action, PSIA ; Marine Doisy, preparing for the Bar exam