Comparative perspectives of constitutional asylum in France, Italy, and Germany: Requiescat in pace?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2008, 27 (3), pp. 16 - 32
Issue Date:
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Most countries provide asylum through domestic legislation, such as a statute incorporating the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. France, Italy, and Germany stand out as three of very few European countries specifically to guarantee a right of asylum in their national Constitutions. The origin, wording, and scope of these constitutional provisions vary, depending on historical factors specific to each country. This article examines the right of asylum guaranteed in the Constitutions of France, Italy, and Germany from a historical perspective. It discusses how this right has evolved in all three countries, especially in light of the Refugee Convention and recent European Asylum Legislation. It concludes that however unique and individual constitutional asylum has traditionally been regarded as in France, Italy, and Germany, international obligations and recent European commitments have absorbed its distinctiveness, making it a redundant, almost obsolete, concept. © UNHCR [2008]. All rights reserved.
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