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  4. Professor Dan Wilsher's Inaugural Lecture: Immigration Control and the Control of Immigrants: is there a difference?




Professor Dan Wilsher's Inaugural Lecture: Immigration Control and the Control of Immigrants: is there a difference?



With net migration to the UK at records levels, much of the public and many politicians agree that ‘something must be done’ to reduce it. More significantly, the large-scale movement of asylum-seekers to Europe has produced an unprecedented political crisis about border control. Policy-making in panic mode is however not always consistent with deeper values such as respect for the rule of law, human dignity and the inherent worth of individuals.

Whilst largely forsaking racial discrimination, governments have deployed a wide range of measures such as detention alongside bans on working, marriage and access to welfare or justice. The reality is that migrants, particularly those with children, rapidly put down roots in host countries. Expulsion is often costly and difficult and yet 'regularisation' is politically fraught. Migrants may remain in a legal limbo for long periods. The idea of universal human rights is thus in tension with modern policies to curb irregular migration. Faced with competing pressures, the law always has to find a fair balance between constitutional and human rights protection as against the need for immigration control. In the end, if the rule of law is to survive, migrants cannot be excluded from the constitution.

This lecture will consider the ways that the UK legal system has developed the 'constitutional' rights of migrants. It will also emphasize, given events in the Middle East, that the treatment of migrants wishing to enter and resettle in Europe (including the UK) may increasingly become a subject of constitutional concern for the courts and governments.

About the Speaker

Daniel Wilsher is Professor in Law at The City Law School. Before coming to City in 2002, Daniel was a solicitor and partner in a London law firm specialising in asylum, immigration and human rights law. As well as teaching at City, since 2006 he has been a part-time Immigration Judge in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

As his first degree, Daniel undertook law and economics at King’s College, Cambridge. He went on to work in medical law and ethics for Action for Victims of Medical Accidents and then as a Nuffield Research Fellow. He then trained to become a solicitor. He moved into academia in 2000 after taking an LLM in European Law at Queen Mary College, London. He went on to take a PhD at the Centre for Migration Law, Radboud University, Njimegen in 2009. He was appointed Professor at City in 2014.

Daniel was a member of the Law Society Panel on immigration law and conducted important cases, including judicial review actions, in this field up to Court of Appeal level. He is an Executive Committee Member of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and a member of the Transparency International (UK) a leading anti-corruption charity.

He teaches in the fields of immigration law, European law and the EU energy law and policy. He has made a special study of immigration detention and his work has been cited in cases by the House of Lords and the High Court of Australia. Daniel's book ‘Immigration Detention: Law, History, Politics’, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, was the first large-scale study of this important issue. His most recent publications were on the law relating to the EU economic system during the Eurozone crisis. His present research agenda includes the balance between immigration and family life and the ongoing EU economic crisis.

Event Timings

6:15pm - Registration with arrival refreshments in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Foyer
6:30pm - Lecture
7:15pm - Reception with drinks and light supper

This event is the first lecture in The City Law School Spring Lecture Series.

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When & where

6.15pm - 7.30pmWednesday 2nd March 2016

Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

Contact Details

City Events Team

+44 (0)20 7040 8037

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