Supporting judges in asylum adjudication - the role of judicial training

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Geography


The PhD project explores the training of judges who hear asylum appeals. Training in this particular area has been increasingly recognised for the important role it might play in supporting judges who are both "corrective" to first-instance asylum decisions and "guarantor" for the correct application of international and national law.

The overall objective of the research is to formulate evidence-based proposals for further improving training, its evaluation, and (remote) training design. Specifically, it aims to:
1. Take stock of current contents and modalities of training related to asylum adjudication.
2. Explore how asylum-related training supports judges in navigating the field's complexity.
3. Identify concrete empirical measures that could be used in evaluating the impact of training on judicial practice in asylum adjudication.

The project proposes a comparative mixed methods approach. The purpose is to arrive at a well-rounded picture of asylum-related training and its role in supporting judges in adjudicating asylum (in the UK context). The methodology combines quantitative and qualitative elements, to both trace second-instance evaluations of first-instance judicial decisions (text mining "error of law" findings), and to capture relevant individuals' views and experiences of training (observation, interviews/ focus groups). Desk research will provide an overview of training related to asylum determination in the jurisdiction(s) studied. The novelty in the proposed approach lies in making a new field fruitful for text mining and mixed methods analysis.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2073428 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Laura Scheinert Idodo