Causation in Context: Interpreting the Nexus Clause in the Refugee Convention

The aim of this Article is to explore current approaches to identifying and applying the causation test inherent in the “for reasons of” clause and to attempt to devise a sui generis test appropriate to the unique aims and objects of the Convention. Part I begins by reviewing both the principles governing the causation analysis and their methods of application in different jurisdictions. Part II then proceeds to review the considerations that might inform the development of a causation standard in refugee law, including guidance that might be obtained from other areas of law, against the background of the need for a context-specific interpretation. Finally, Part III synthesizes the insights developed in Parts I and II in order to formulate a standard that is consistent with the humanitarian and protective aims of the Convention.