About the Association

International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ)

One of the most important functions of the IARMJ is to bring together all the refugee and migration law judges who make the decisions to reach a common understanding of the international law and practice of refugees and migrants. 

To seek the application, understanding and common interpretation of international law, in order to obtain fairer results for all those who seek to be recognized as refugees of the Convention in all states parties to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as those that require resolving their immigration status at the national level.


Promote cooperation, exchange of information and expertise in refugee and migrant rights, procedures and decision-making in the matter among countries.

Promote the professional development of its members; analyze specific issues and jurisprudential advances that affect the region, and examine the possible influence of the advances of other jurisdictions.

The Association is constituted by judges from the judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative branches, responsible for the attention of the rights of migrants and refugees. 

The Association is administered by a Council made up of officers and members. 

Officers of the Council are the president, the vice president, the secretary, the immediate president and the presidents of each regional chapter.

Members of the Council are those representing the regional chapters elected for that position by the Assembly of the Association.

At the regional level the Association is divided into chapters, namely: Europe, America, Asia Pacific and Africa.

The presidency is currently headed by the Honorable Judge Katelijne Declerck (Belgium) and the Secretariat is based in the Netherlands. 


  1. Full Membership in the Association is open to:
  2. judges who exercise judicial authority in making decisions of law, or law and fact, in relation to claims for the recognition of refugee status, complementary protection status, statelessness, deportation, detention, exceptional humanitarian circumstances, family unity and migration law, whether on appeal or on judicial review/cassation.
  3. Quasi-judicial decision makers,
  4. any retired judge (as defined) with at least three years standing as a member or with exceptional abilities or circumstances in the opinion of the Management Board.
  5. Associate membership is open to:

Persons who are not eligible to become full members of the Association. Those persons should indicate their interest to become an associate member to the President, Secretary or their appropriate Chapter President or Chapter Secretary and provide: evidence of their past independent professional and/or academic endeavours that are consistent with the objects of the Association, and that they will be an asset to the Association by their participation in the future. Such indications of interest will only proceed further when an invitation to make a formal application is sent to them by the President. Any such invitation will be made after the President has consulted with the relevant Chapter President.

  1. Honorary Life Membership:

It may be granted, on the recommendation of the President and subsequent approval at a General Meeting, to the past Presidents and other full members who are considered to have given long and exceptional service to the Association. 

  1. Eligibility for Membership

All members, and applicants for full membership must:

  1. Support the objects of the Association.
  2. Meet the membership and application obligations, including payment of the membership fees, or other contributions.
  3. In the case of applicants for full membership have obtained prior approval from three Board Members namely the President, and the relevant Chapter President, plus at least one other Board Member, as being qualified to be a full member.

To apply for membership you can follow this link: https://www.iarmj.org/membership