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Yewa S Holiday

 Yewa S Holiday

Research Topic: Public international law, criminal law, asylum and immigration law, human rights, victims of human trafficking, international criminal law, constitutional law


Twitter: @yyadiloh

Postgraduate Research Student

Thesis title

Article 31(1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Criminalisation of Refugees in England and Wales


Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas and Professor Elspeth Guild

Summary of research

When refugees flee persecution from their country of origin or residence for a country of safety, their journeys may be made in unlawful ways, such as clandestinely or using false passports. International refugee law prohibits the penalisation of refugees for offences relating to unlawful entry or presence under article 31(1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The thesis considers the compatibility of the criminalisation or prosecution of refugees in England and Wales with article 31(1).


Yewa Holiday completed her BA (Hons) Law at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University. She has an LLM in International Law (First class) from Cambridge and an LLM in International Criminal Law (Distinction) from the University of Sussex. She was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1996 (currently non-practising). She worked at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) from 1998-2013. In 2012, Yewa was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship by Queen Mary’s School of Law. She successfully defended her thesis in January 2017 (Examiners: Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill and Professor David Ormerod). She teaches Criminal Law and Land Law.


  • ‘The Function of the Criminal Law in the Prosecution of Refugees’, Border Criminologies Blog (23 June 2015)
  • ‘Syrian asylum seekers without passports to appeal their convictions’, The Justice Gap Blog (23 April 2015)
  • Penalising Refugees: when should the CJEU have jurisdiction to interpret Article 31 of the Refugee Convention? EU Law Analysis Blog (19 July 2014)
  • ‘Book review, Ana Aliverti Crimes of Mobility. Criminal Law and the Regulation of Immigration, Abingdon: Routledge, 2013’ (2014) European Journal of Migration and Law 16, 303-307
  • ‘A Place of Greater Safety: the prosecution of refugees for passport offences'’, Border Criminologies Blog (26 February 2014)
  • ‘Prosecuting the persecuted: the impact of wrongful convictions for refugees’, The Justice Gap Blog (22 January 2014)
  • ‘The Christmas my mother wrote Samwise Gamgee’ in Abelvik-Lawson H, Hett A and Sumpton L (eds), In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights (Human Rights Consortium 2013)
  • ‘In defence of refugees’, (2013) Law Society Gazette, 16 September 2013
  • ‘Victims of human trafficking and the CCRC’, (2012) Law Society Gazette (online), 25 October 2012
  • ‘CCRC concern over advice given to refugees’, (2012) Law Society Gazette (online), 14 June 2012.
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