ARTICLE: AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: THE RIGHT TO LEAVE AS A PERSONAL LIBERTY Skip over navigation
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Copyright 2011 Melbourne Journal of International Law Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Melbourne Journal of International Law

ARTICLE: AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: THE RIGHT TO LEAVE AS A PERSONAL LIBERTY

June, 2011

Melbourne Journal of International Law

12 Melbourne J. of Int'l Law 27

Author

JANE MCADAM *

Excerpt

I INTRODUCTION

The history of freedom of movement has been framed most commonly as a narrative about the rights of individuals to enter another country, or, viewed the other way around, as a story of immigration restriction. 1 Yet, recent research into the legal regulation of movement reveals that it is as much a history of emigration restriction -- curtailment of the rights of nationals to leave their own country -- as it is one of migration controls by other countries. 2 The right to enter a country is only half the story; indeed, it does not even come into play if the antecedent right to leave one's country is not respected.

The right to leave is recognised in a number of human rights instruments, most notably, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ('UDHR') and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights ('ICCPR'). 3 However, it is an incomplete right, since it is not matched by a state duty of admission. 4 While modern international human rights treaties reflect the right to seek asylum and the principle of non-refoulement (non-return to persecution and other serious human rights violations), these are relatively limited incursions into states' otherwise unfettered sovereign power to determine who crosses their borders and may remain within them. How and why, then, were rights to free movement codified in modern human rights treaties and what, substantively, do they mean?

This article examines the philosophical underpinnings of the right to freedom of movement in ...
 
 
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