Asylum in International Law

Asylum means refuge and active protective granted by a State to a person seeking such a refuge and protection on the territory under its control. Thus asylum is granted on the request of the person concerned and it involves more than merely a temporary refuge and a degree of protection by the authorities of the State of refuge. Asylum is closely connected with extradition, and both are interdependent in as much as where the asylum stops extradition begins. If a fugitive is not surrendered or returned by the sheltering State to the State where he is alleged to have committed the crime, then he may be allowed to remain in the State would be granted asylum. Once the territorial State (State of refuge) decides to extradite him, the question of asylum does not arise at all. Usually asylum is relevant in the context of political asylum and if extradited, there is a fear of political presentation in his own country. Since the late 19th century, liberal tendencies have favoured the practice of granting asylum to political offenders. The right to grant asylum is an aspect of a State’s territorial sovereignty. It has been recognized in Article 1 of the Draft Convention on Territorial Asylum emerged from the discussions in United Nations General Assembly in 1974-75, which every state has the right, in the exercise of its sovereignty to admit any person into its territory. Asylum may be territorial or extra territorial.

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Associate Professor & Director – CCJR, Unitedworld School of Law (UWSL)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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