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Hagee & Catholicism » Catholicism And Asylum

What Is Asylum Law?

Asylum law is another law that has been around, literally, for ages. It simply outlines the situations in which an individual or group is persecuted by their home country for their beliefs or politics, usually dissenting form the current regime in their country, and who then takes asylum under the protection of a sovereign authority, such as another country.

Asylum law is not refugee law; asylum law concerns the right of asylum as opposed to refugee law, which concerns huge group of people coming into a country. Most often, the seekers of asylum, or protection, are often considered rebels or dissidents in their own countries and are not safe, so they migrate to a different country that offers them protection. However, the two do sometimes overlap, as a refugee may demand to be treated as an asylum case, and is sometimes granted that right.

Asylum law has general legalities surrounding it, but like any other type of law, it really functions on a case-by-case basis. More recently, treaties called "extradition treaties" have been signed by numerous countries giving the home country of the asylum-seeker the right to demand their return, and the asylum-giving country, according to such a treaty, would have to oblige.

However, though these treaties may be signed between nations, international law still says that a country does not have to surrender the asylum-seeker, often considered a criminal in their home country, to their country of origin. This is directly because of the principles defining a sovereign state, wherein the people or within the borders of a sovereign state are subject to the sovereign state's authority.

Asylum law is different in each nation, and some may be stricter than others. Because of its nature and the important role sovereign states play in asylum laws, different countries may vary widely in how they put the law into effect.

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