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This article cautions that the accountability theory strikes at the very heart of international protection, by threatening the international consensus underlying the provision of asylum to refugees. Part 2 presents a conceptual analysis of the accountability theory and its fundamental inconsistency with the principle of refugee protection. This philosophical approach is followed in Part 3 by a pragmatic examination of the impact of the accountability theory in the context of a regional burden-sharing regime that allows a European State, under certain circumstances, to return an asylum seeker to the country of first asylum. Part 3 concentrates on two asylum cases from the United Kingdom: ex parte Adan and Aitseguer, decided by the House of Lords, and TL v. The United Kingdom, a case ultimately brought before the European Court of Human Rights.

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International Journal of Refugee Law





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