Sunday, March 11, 2018
American Courts and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees: A Need for Harmony in the Face of a Refugee Crisis
Since the U.S. signed on to the United Nations Refugee Convention regime and later enacted its provisions in domestic law, the Supreme Court has treated the interpretations of the UNHCR inconsistently and lately with little regard. This Note outlines the precedent and its problems, and suggests a new way forward: that the Supreme Court should always explicitly consider the UNHCR’s views when the UNHCR interprets text in the INA, placed there via the Refugee Act, that directly corresponds to text in the international Convention. Both textual and prudential considerations support such a method, including the UNHCR’s subject matter expertise, its ability to harmonize the international refugee regime, and Congress’s intent in passing implementing legislation.