Journal article

Can historians capture refugees’ voices from the records of their applications for asylum?

CR Pennell

Oral History Association Of Australia Journal | Oral History Association of Australia | Published : 2017


This article examines how evidence given in refugee appeals tribunals is processed and transformed from an oral to a written form and then summarised and analysed for legal purposes. Its sources are the determinations of tribunals in New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Ireland which cite what refugees have said when they provide the reasoning for their decisions. This takes a summarised form, intended as an evidentiary basis for a legal decision, not to investigate the personal histories of the refugees themselves. Yet the enormous volume of this material available from the tribunal archives in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada and some other European countries is a valuable historical..

View full abstract