Refugee essay proves a winner

15 March 2016
20160310_Law Profile_001

Washington DC beckons for an exceptional law student whose winning refugee essay has won her a place at the American Society of International Law conference later this month.

Linda Sullivan, who is a student on Dr Anna Hood’s Immigration and Refugee Law class, has won the prize for her outstanding essay entitled “The Application of Article 1F of the Refugee Convention in New Zealand: Examining exclusion through a Criminal Law lens”.

“This is a very impressive achievement,” says Dr Hood. “Students from around the world submit very high quality essays for this prize and the American Society’s International Law prizes are highly coveted.”

Linda (23) is in her sixth year of a conjoint Law and Arts degree at the Faculty of Law where she combines her studies with assisting as a writing instructor on the Faculty’s new legal writing, research and communications course.

She hopes to build a career in representing refugees and asylum seekers, helping them to access their basic human rights.

Her interest in forced migration and citizenship issues developed at the Auckland Law School and her eyes were opened to the practical difficulties that face asylum seekers in New Zealand when she worked for a leading refugee law barrister alongside studying for her degree.

Her winning paper examines the intersection between criminal and refugee law – how refugees and asylum seekers can be excluded from refugee status if they have committed, or are suspected of having committed, crimes, and the defences they may be able to employ.

 “The Washington conference is an important opportunity for me and I am very much looking forward to being part of one of the world’s biggest international law meetings,” she says. “I feel very lucky to have this amazing chance to learn about the new frontiers in my field and meet others with the same interests.”

Linda will join international law policymakers, practitioners, academics and fellow students during the three-and-a-half day Capitol Hill conference, and she expects to spend about a week away on her first visit to the United States.