Is there an obligation under international law to readmit state’s own nationals?
Topic suggested by ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles). Is there an obligation under international law to readmit state’s own nationals who do not wish to return to their country of origin (i.e. they are removed/ deported/ expelled)? The EU institutions and Member States repetitively refer to such a legal obligation to put pressure on non-EU countries to cooperate on the readmission of their nationals (including those who are forcibly expelled). To inform ECRE policy and advocacy work, it would be useful to have an assessment of this suggested obligation, including relevant academic arguments and sources. We are aware that this question triggers debates and that the content of this principle is the subject of discussions (see Eric Fripp, Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status, Hart Publishing, 2016, pp. 44-46, and a much older article that captures the issue here). A comprehensive review of the sources on the issue would be greatly supportive of ECRE’s advocacy in the context of EU & third-country talks on readmission.