The sea-crosser’s paradox: how drowning at sea has become a crime control strategy and why human rights do nothing about it

Edinburgh Europa Research Group Seminar

Francesca SolimanEdinburgh School of Law

22 November 2017, 16:00-17-00, 

Seminar Room 4 Chrystal Macmillan Building

Discussant: Jill Poeggel, UoE. Politics




The increasingly common framing of migration through a criminal lens has turned migration control into a form of crime prevention which decreases legal safeguards and yet attracts limited critical scrutiny. The rise of ‘crimmigration’, i.e. the blurring of boundaries between criminal and migration law, has created a hybrid legal framework. Non-citizens inhabit a state of exception in criminal law, meaning that the fundamental principles regulating criminal proceedings are conditional to the suspect’s citizenship status. Although international treaties such as the European Convention on Human Rights protect the right to trial and non-discrimination, the recourse to extra-judicial measures in managing non-citizens remains routine, while increasingly restrictive crimmigration control practices suggest that the state’s ability to suspend the law for its own advantage extends well beyond its borders. This raises questions about the purported universalism of human rights and suggests that states of exceptions may also exist in international law. Francesca Soliman suggests that a social harm approach is best suited to critically evaluate states of exception in contemporary crimmigration control practice.

The event is open to all. For Further information about the seminar details, please send an email to

We look forward to seeing you!

Cleo Davies & Mihail Vatsov, co-convenors of the Europa Research Group

The Europa Research Group Seminar series is supported by the Edinburgh Europa Institute.