Laura Scheinert Idodo
Broad research specialisms
Migration and integration, refugees and asylum.
BA Sociology, University of Mannheim (Germany)
MA Sociology and Social Research, Newcastle University (UK)
I graduated in sociology from the University of Mannheim (Germany) in 2014 and subsequently successfully completed a Master’s programme in Sociology and Social Research at Newcastle University (2014-2015).
My MA thesis examined definitions of the ‘refugee’ based on the case of Germany’s so-called Temporary Humanitarian Admission Programmes (THAP) for Syrian refugees set up between 2013 and 2015. Two publications developed out of this work (with movements and the German Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung).
From 2016 to 2018 I worked as an evaluator at the German Institute for Development Evaluation in Bonn, Germany, as part of the team evaluating the German development volunteer service ‘weltwaerts’ (evaluation report).
All through my BA and MA studies as well as my work experience, I have developed and sustained an interest in issues around migration, asylum, citizenship and integration, looking in particular at the ways in which legal provisions play out in practice.
I joined the University of Exeter in September 2018 to embark on a PhD exploring how judicial training supports judges in the task of determining refugee status.
Refugee and asylum law, judicial training, adult education, mixed methods research
My PhD project explores the training of judges who hear asylum appeals. Training in this particular area has been increasingly recognised for the important role it might play in supporting judges who are both “corrective” to first-instance asylum decisions and “guarantor” for the correct application of international and national law.
The overall objective of the research is to formulate evidence-based proposals for further improving training, its evaluation, and (remote) training design. Specifically, it aims to:
- Take stock of current contents and modalities of training related to asylum adjudication.
- Explore how asylum-related training supports judges in navigating the field’s complexity.
- Identify concrete empirical measures that could be used in evaluating the impact of training on judicial practice in asylum adjudication.
The project proposes a comparative mixed methods approach. The purpose is to arrive at a well rounded picture of asylum-related training and its role in supporting judges in adjudicating asylum (in the UK context). The methodology combines quantitative and qualitative elements, to both trace second-instance evaluations of first-instance judicial decisions (text mining "error of law" findings), and to capture relevant individuals’ views and experiences of training (observation, interviews/ focus groups). Desk research will provide an overview of training related to asylum determination in the jurisdiction(s) studied. The novelty in the proposed approach lies in making a new field fruitful for text mining and mixed methods analysis.