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Maja Zarkovic

Maja Zarkovic

Research student Maja is working on Asylum Seekers Suspected of Serious Criminality: The Political Implications of Article 1F.

PhD thesis title: Asylum Seekers Suspected of Serious Criminality: The Political Implications of Article 1F in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom

Supervisors: Dr Daniel Wilsher and Dr Mazen Masri


Research Overview

Maja’s research focuses on Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention which excludes from refugee status asylum seekers who have been accused of serious criminality.

The main goal of Maja’s research is to explore the reasons behind why the governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom are increasingly interested in Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the political, social, and historical contexts which have affected this. She will especially look at how Article 1F is expressed within Refugee Status Determination and policy in all three countries.

In particular, she is analysing how specific warring factions are treated by the governments and by the courts in all three countries (when it comes to exclusion from refugee status) in order to discover whether there are any connections between the treatment of these warring groups and the political reach that the three governments have in the countries of origin from which the asylum seekers arrive from. Exploring how independent courts are in this area will also be a key part of her work.


Maja obtained her LLB at Queen Mary, University of London. Following this, she completed an LLM in Immigration Law at Queen Mary where she wrote her dissertation on the protection of refugee women and their rights under international law and, more specifically, on “gender and refugeehood” arguing for why women should qualify as “particular social group” by default.

While completing her LLM degree, Maja worked with Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founder of the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford. She worked for Dr Harrell-Bond’s Rights in Exile Programme, an online NGO dedicated to providing key legal resources for refugee legal aid advisers and legal aid firms.  During this time, Maja assisted Dr Harrell Bond in a summer school in Bosnia on International Refugee Law (CESI) by giving a lecture on the Case of Palestinian Refugees: Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention for the students participating in the programme. Before beginning her research degree at City Law School, Maja worked for the Detention Team of the Immigration Department at Turpin & Miller LLP, a legal aid law firm in Oxford, UK.


Maja is the tutorial teacher for the European and UK Human Rights Law Course and for the Applied Legal Writing and Research Law Course at City Law School.

Research interests

Maja is currently the Research Assistant to Dr Adrienne Yong and Dr Yong’s research project that looks at the effect of Brexit on the right to private and family life for EU citizens in the UK and at the legality of deporting EU citizens from the UK after Brexit. Maja’s role involves finding and analysing court decisions in order to explore if and to what extent Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights can help European citizens challenge Home Office refusals in the courts even if they have not fulfilled their five-year residency in the United Kingdom. Maja’s research interests include International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, European Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Migration Studies.