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Welcome to the second CSEL newsletter of 2014! Read on for an update on what spring has brought us so far…

Research news and publications

Gender in refugee law
Last month we celebrated the publication of an exciting new book, Gender in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre. Edited by Efrat ArbelCatherine Dauvergne and Jenni Millbank, this volume is an impressive collaborative effort from refugee advocates and academics in charting the development of gender-related asylum jurisprudence since the 1990’s, and the challenges that lie ahead.
CSEL’s Director Jane Herlihy (pictured left with fellow authors Debora Singer and Maria Hennessy) contributed a chapter on gender-related psychological barriers to fair refugee status determination, alongside essays from many others.  You can download the introduction free of charge here; alternatively click through to buy the full volume.

New study on overgeneral memory published
Have you ever wondered whether the effects of trauma on memory are the same across all cultures? CSEL Trustee Chris Brewin, Associate Researcher Belinda Graham and Jane Herlihy have recently published a new study in the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, to investigate the link between PTSD and overgeneral memory in refugees and asylum seekers from 18 different countries. Click here to access the full paper (£), or take a look at the digested read on our Current Projects Blog. A pre-print version of the paper is now available on our website.

We are pleased to announce that CSEL is now a resource partner with the Fahamu Refugee Programme. Jane Herlihy and Fahamu’s Lily Parrot co-authored an article on psychology and refugee status determination in the April edition of the Fahamu newsletter. Further information on topics such as memory and PTSD, and recommendations for in-depth reading, are now available at the ‘Legal Issues’ page of the Fahamu website.

CSEL needs you!

Do you work in the legal or voluntary sectors? Have you ever used a CSEL research paper to support your work with a person seeking asylum? We are collecting case studies and stories from people using CSEL research in practice, and would be delighted to hear your experiences. If you’d like to share, contact Clare at You can also fill in our short survey here.

New volunteer

We’re pleased to welcome Zara McGlone to the CSEL team as a volunteer Legal Research Assistant. Zara graduated from the University of Oxford in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in Classics and French, and is currently completing her Graduate Diploma in Law at City University London. Zara is working with us on a project to evaluate the prevalence and effect of our research in asylum judgements at the First Tier Tribunal. If your firm would be interested in participating, please contact

Training & partnerships update


Evidence into Practice

The Evidence into Practice Project continues to go from strength to strength, training legal professionals and voluntary sector workers across the UK in understanding trauma, memory and credibility in the asylum process. Clare Cochrane, EiP Project Manager, has delivered four informative and engaging workshops in Bristol and London over the last three months, with one participant reporting

“it is great to know that CSEL is doing this amazing work to support the really difficult process asylum seekers have to go through for their stories to be believed.”
Clare has also been working in partnership with the Evelyn Oldfield Unit to consult on and co-facilitate a series of workshops inspired in part by CSEL’s ‘Facilitating Justice’ event in 2012. The series will bring together grassroots organisations and service providers to reflect on issues affecting the lives of migrant women. Clare has been both moved and inspired to have had the chance to meet with and hear the stories of activist migrant women involved in advocacy and peer support.



Jane has been travelling across Europe working in partnership with UNCHR and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) to disseminate the findings of the CREDO project, training asylum decision makers and other legal professionals in best practice for credibility assessment in asylum systems across the continent.
In April, she spent two days in Vienna at the invitation of the new Austrian Federal Administrative Court, which since 1st January 2014 oversees asylum appeals in the country, training over 100 judges alongside several other CREDO contributors. At the beginning of May, she visited Madrid as part of a three-day training course in credibility assessment for asylum legal professionals and researchers, co-hosted by the HHC, ECRE, and the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA).

Later in May, Jane travelled to Budapest to deliver training to trainers of state decision makers across Europe, this time in partnership with the European Asylum Support Office. She is looking forward to seeing where the CREDO project will take her over the next few months!

Conferences & talks


On March 25th, Jane presented some of her work on trauma and memory to professionals working in the violence against women sector at Solace Women's Aid, drawing on a recent review of the current scientific literature on memory, in order to outline theories of normal and traumatic memory. Three days later, she travelled to the Institute of Immigration Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, along with Marcelle Reneman of VU University, to give a presentation on credibility as part of a series of multi-disciplinary sessions for honours students on asylum law and policy. One of the students, Marit Jansen, reflected on the day over at the CSEL Current Projects Blog - click through to read her post. 


Our Research & Communications Assistant Gracie Bradley has been busy attending conferences and keeping CSEL up to date on the latest developments in scholarship on refugee law and policy. The Migration Law Network conference in March was particularly lively, bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines to reflect on irregular migration and the Mediterranean, a ‘sea of troubles’. She was very interested to hear from researchers Nick Gill and Melanie Griffiths about the preliminary findings of their anthropological study exploring the differences between asylum appeal hearing centres across the UK, based at the University of Exeter’s Department of Geography. We look forward to the final report!

Gracie has also recently been elected to the Board of Directors for SOAS Detainee Support, and is very much looking forward to guiding and supporting the group’s work in solidarity with immigration detainees over the coming months.

Copyright © 2014 Centre for the Study of Emotion & Law, All rights reserved.

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