Oct 26 2017

International Mobility Treaty: Annual Tanner-McMurrin Lecture

6:30pm - 9:00pm
University of Utah, College of Law Courtroom, Salt Lake City, UT
Past Event


International Mobility Treaty

The Annual Tanner-McMurrin Lecture with Professor Michael Doyle

26 October 2017
University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6), Salt Lake City, UT, USA

6:30 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture, 8:30-9:00 pm Book Signing, S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6)

Humans have been mobile since day one, and especially so in today’s globalized world, but, as Professor Doyle points out, there has been no international treaty yet on human mobility as such. Professor Doyle has been working on the philosophical, political, and legal foundations of the treaty. Earlier, he has been the architect of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal’s (MDG) and has overseen the UN Peacekeeping Operations as the UN Assistant Secretary General under Kofi Annan.

For more information, visit https://www.law.utah.edu/event/international-mobility-treaty

Read and sign the Model International Mobility Convention at globalpolicy.columbia.edu/mobility-convention.


Michael W. Doyle is the Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and University Professor at Columbia University in the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia Law School and the Department of Political Science. Previously he has taught at the University of Warwick (United Kingdom), Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University and Yale Law School. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Professor Doyle’s current research focuses on international law and international relations. His major publications include Ways of War and Peace (W.W. Norton); Empires (Cornell University Press); Making War and Building Peace (Princeton University Press); Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict (Princeton University Press); and The Question of Intervention: J.S. Mill and the Responsibility to Protect (Yale University Press, 2015).

In 2001-2003, Professor Doyle served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning and Special Adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan where his responsibilities included strategic planning (the “Millennium Development Goals”), outreach to the international corporate sector (the “Global Compact”) and relations with Washington. From 2006 to 2013 he served as the chair of the UN Democracy Fund. He currently chairs the International Peace Institute.

In 2001, Professor Doyle was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Background Materials

The Model International Mobility Convention

While people are as mobile as they ever were in our globalized world, the movement of people across borders lacks global regulation. This leaves many refugees in protracted displacement and many migrants unprotected in irregular and dire situations. Meanwhile, some states have become concerned that their borders have become irrelevant. International mobility—the movement of individuals across borders for any length of time as visitors, students, tourists, labor migrants, entrepreneurs, long-term residents, asylum seekers, or refugees—has no common definition or legal framework. To address this key gap in international law, and the growing gaps in protection and responsibility that are leaving people vulnerable, the "Model International Mobility Convention" proposes a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people (and the corresponding rights and responsibilities of states) as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted.

In 213 articles divided over eight chapters, the Convention establishes both the minimum rights afforded to all people who cross state borders as visitors, and the special rights afforded to tourists, students, migrant workers, investors and residents, forced migrants, refugees, migrant victims of trafficking and migrants caught in countries in crisis. Some of these categories are covered by existing international legal regimes. However, in this Convention these groups are for the first time brought together under a single framework. An essential feature of the Convention is that it is cumulative. This means, for the most part, that the chapters build on and add rights to the set of rights afforded to categories of migrants covered by earlier chapters. The Convention contains not only provisions that afford rights to migrants and, to a lesser extent, States (such as the right to decide who can enter and remain in their territory). It also articulates the responsibilities of migrants vis-à-vis States and the rights and responsibilities of different institutions that do not directly respond to a right held by migrants. 

The Model International Mobility Convention was developed by a Commission of eminent academic and policy experts in the fields on migration, human rights, national security, labor economics and refugee law. The Commission came together to debate and develop the Convention in workshops conducted regularly from spring 2015 until it was finalized in June 2017. A full list of Commission and other signatories to the Convention can be found further down on this page. 

Read and sign the Model International Mobility Convention at globalpolicy.columbia.edu/mobility-convention.