Accepted Paper:

Processes of literary inscription in refugee status determination procedures: Country of Origin Information in France and the UK  

Author:

Anthony Good (Edinburgh University)

Paper short abstract:

Country of Origin Information (COI) is a key form of evidence used in refugee status determination procedures. This paper focuses on the literary strategies whereby its compilers make explicit or implicit claims about the authoritative character of the COI evidence they present.

Paper long abstract:

Country of Origin Information (COI) plays an important part in the adjudication of asylum claims in France and the UK. Such evidence is frequently crucial in establishing which general categories of person are likely to be at risk in asylum applicants' countries of origin, and in assessing the plausibility and credibility of the stories told by individual claimants. The starting point of this paper is the recognition that different forms of COI involved in the refugee status determination process vary in their styles of literary presentation as well as their strategies for sourcing material. Its approach differs from most of the burgeoning literature on COI in viewing it from a social scientific rather than a jurisprudential perspective, and in stressing metalinguistic style more than content. It focuses particularly on the strategies whereby compilers or authors make explicit or implicit claims about the authoritative character of the COI evidence that they present. In so doing, it takes as its starting points Latour & Woolgar's (1986) typology of scientific statements and J.L. Austin's (1962) theory of speech acts.

Panel P063
Evidence in question: anthropological authority and legal judgment [Anthropology of Law and Rights]