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Each year, thousands of persons fleeing situations of military conflict in their home countries are denied refuge in the United States. These denials result in part from an asylum adjudication process that requires applicants to show that they are persecuted on an individualized basis, rather than that they fear generalized conditions of violence. Jennifer Moore explores the development of the humanitarian law defense to deportation, which seeks to compel immigration courts to recognize and apply international humanitarian law. Part I describes the evolution of the humanitarian law argument in immigration courts. Part II considers the relationship between humanitarian law and human rights law, and the possibilities for grounding defenses to deportation on international human rights law. The article concludes in Part III with an evaluation of the prospects for the future development of the humanitarian law defense, in light of recent legislative efforts to provide temporary refuge to certain classes of civil war victims.

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Harvard Human Rights Journal



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