Workshop - May 9 2017, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

This British Academy-funded workshop brings together academics and advocates in a series of roundtables to examine privatisation in border control. Increasingly, liberal democracies turn to private actors to secure borders, from airline carriers, to private security corporations, to civilians acting in their capacities as landlords and employers. This use raises fundamental questions about state sovereignty, has been subject to sustained allegations of rights abuses, yet is likely to expand.

We invite ECRs to participate by presenting their research or works-in-progress. Please submit brief abstracts by April 11, 2017 to
Indicative questions include (but are not limited to): 
  1. Is it morally permissible for private actors to perform sovereign functions, particularly when these involve detention, the use of force, and other forms of coercion? 
  2. What are the best practices governing their role? And what measures of accountability will be most effective?
  3. To what extent does privatisation shape immigration policy e.g encourage detention and discourage community-based alternatives to detention?
  4. Do some private actors render immigration enforcement more just or humane (for example, charities)
  5. Does a larger role for private actors represent yet another way in which migration and globalisation have diminished state sovereignty; or, does it in fact empower states to pursue policies of more stringent border control without the constraints of judicial oversight and international or other constitutional norms?