Human Rights and Immigration Law Dissertation Topics & Ideas

This section contains a selection of 12 dissertation topics and ideas on human rights and Immigration law. Please feel free to use these topics to help you create your own law dissertation topic.

Example Dissertation Topics & Ideas

1. An Examination of the Pubic right to Protest and the Rights of the Police under PACE 1984:

The freedom of assembly (Article 11 of the ECHR) is protected in the UK by virtue of s. 3 of the HRA 1998. The common law has traditionally given a broad right for peaceful protest (DPP v Jones (Margaret) [1999] 2 AC 240; R (Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire [2007] 2 AC 205). This is supported under PACE Code of Practice A, with regards to reasonable suspicion; albeit s. 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act provides a broad right (R (Pritpal Singh v Chief Constable of West Midlands [2007] 2 All ER 297).Thus, the provisions of this Act will be examined to identify if it gives too much power to disperse public protests.

2. Is the broad leeway given to detention and treatment of the mentally ill fit for purpose?

The case of Hutchinson Reid v UK 50272/99 (2003) ECHR 94 heldit is legitimate to hold a mentally ill person who poses a threat (to themselves or the public) in hospital detention. This is even the case if the condition is not treatable. The rationale used is that there is legitimacy of preventative detention on safety grounds. A similar argument of “best interest” is applied to when consent for medical treatment can be dispensed with. Thus, the following examination will explore the human rights rationale that is applied to erode the integrity of freedom and choice for mentally ill persons.

3. Should Prisoners be given the right to vote? An examination of whether the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights provides a wider right to democracy:

This dissertation topic will explore the debate over the application of Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) that has provided a more balanced approach to the prisoner's right to vote (Greens and MT v UK (Applications nos. 60041/08 and 60054/08). The Greens Case is an example of the prima facie inherency of the human rights, which meant that the blanket ban of the prisoner's right to vote is illegitimate and disproportionate. Thus, this examination will explore whether the debate over the prisoner's right to vote should force a change of stance by the UK government.

4. Is there a positive right of authorities to protect? An examination of domestic violence and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights:

The duty of states in complex and private domestic violence cases is problematic, because there is a traditional ethos of acceptance. This culture of acceptance, as well as the public-private dichotomy has created a culture of non-reporting amongst victims of domestic violence. This is due to the lack of trust amongst these victims for the crimes, which then creates a vicious circle. This is because there are “public policy” limitations for prosecution of crimes, i.e. the most pressing crimes will be prosecuted as a priority. Thus, if reporting of domestic violence crimes are low then the priority of these crimes will be treated as less important. The case of Opuz v Turkey (2009) App. No. 33401/02, Eur. Ct. H.R identified there is a positive duty on states to protect once there is knowledge of domestic violence. Thus, This dissertation topic will explore if the UK is meeting this obligation.

5. Should the UN intervene into to oppressive regimes? A comparative examination of the legal and human rights justifications for intervening in Afghanistan and Libya and the inaction in Syria:

This dissertation topic will explore when humanitarian intervention is a legal requirement for the UN through an examination of the resolutions from the 1990s. It will then consider if the grounds in the case of Afghanistan and Libya can be justified and be distinguished from the case of Syria. Thus, this discussion will identify if there is a growing body international laws for allowable intervention; as opposed to a political power struggle of the Security Council.  

6. Should the Death Penalty be reinstated in English Law? A Human Rights Treatise Against Arguments supporting the Death Penalty?

This dissertation topic will examine the legal theories for and against the death penalty. This will be followed by an exploration of international humanitarian law on the legitimacy of the Death Penalty. It will then consider the European Court of Human Rights' approach to the death penalty to understand the European stance. Finally, it will consider the different approached to the death penalty in the US, in order to determine if it should be reinstated in the UK.

7. Should the Rights of the Child be fully recognised in the European Convention on Human Rights? The Interface between the European Court of Human Rights “best interests” principle and the inherent rights of the child:

This dissertation topic will examine the theories on the rights of the child and international humanitarian norms (i.e. the Convention on the Rights of the Child). This will then be juxtaposed with the “best interests” arguments of the European Court of Human Rights and English law. Thus, it will propose that the “best interests” argument is harming the fundamental integrity of the child. On this basis, this discussion will bring together the theories on the rights of the child and the law, in order to prove or disprove this argument.

8. Should the Right to a Family and Private Life be restricted in the case of Failed Asylum Seekers?

This dissertation topic will explore the evolution of European Court of Human Rights' case law on the right of a private life and family life for failed asylum seekers (Boultif v Switzerland [2001] ECHR 54273/00; Uner v Netherlands [2006] ECHR 465 10/99). This approach will be compared with the approach of the UK Courts and Immigration Tribunals to determine if the standard of the ECHR is being met. Thus, it will identify if Razgar Exceptionality (R (Razgar) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2004] UKHL 27 is still valid case law in the light of Huang and Kashmiri v SSHD [2007] UKHL 11 and Beoku-Betts v SSHD [2008] UKHL 39.

9. Is the law of Rendition and Extradition under English law sufficiently protecting human rights obligations?

This dissertation topic is going to focus on the juxtaposition of preventative detention and extradition (rendition). In order to explore this subject the core objective is to examine the nature of rights purported by the Government and the ECtHR to understand to different viewpoints. This means a purely comparative approach will be developed to undertake this discussion, because it will begin by placing the foundations and rationales of the approaches taken by the two different legal systems. Thus, the basis of this discussion is to examine the validity of the UK government's argument that those, who pose a threat to the state, put their rights “on hold” and can be extradited. This discussion will explore a number of high profile cases of extradition to the USA; as well as the Abu Hamza Case.

10. Is the 1951 Geneva Convention for Refugees fit for purpose?

This dissertation topic will explore if the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention) is fit for purpose. It will examine if the model is overly narrow, which s identifiable by the broader application of protections under international, regional and national human rights law (e.g. The UN Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights).There are also countries, such as Canada, that have a broader application of protection. Thus, the following examination will explore these models against the Refugee Convention to determine if it needs to be replaced or reformed.

11. To what extent has Fortress Europe created an immigration model that is closed to non-EU Citizens?

The EU migration policy to irregular migrants has become exclusionary if they are a non-EU Citizen. This has resulted in a narrow application of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention). The application of the Refugee Convention and non-EU migrants is further clarified in the Qualification Directive. The accumulation of these measures indicates the concept of Fortress Europe is in place. However, the concept of an EU citizen is significantly broad, which has resulted in third-country nationals being extended these rights (Ruiz Zambrano [2011]2 CMLR); albeit limitations will be applied whenever possible (McCarthy [2011] 3 CMLR 10). Thus, this discussion will examine the nature of Fortress Europe and the impact on migration of non-EU Citizens.

12. Can the Points System really enable a “cap” to be created in the English Immigration Model?

This dissertation topic will explore the legal framework of the points system, in order to determine if it is capable of creating a “cap”. This discussion will examine a number of issues from the application of the points system; as well as a limitation imposed by the Free Movement of Workers and the rights of EU Nationals. Thus, this comprehensive review will explore if a cap is a legal possibility or a political myth in the UK.