This note analyses the proposed Model National Law for Refugees, which has been drafted for South Asia, with the basic premise that India's past practice in dealing with refugee situations has not been sufficiently consistent, and there is a need for a uniform legislation. The note compares the Model Law with existing international instruments and other national legislations, and concludes that the adoption of the law would be an important step in guaranteeing fair treatment of refugees in India due to its implementation of a uniform status-determination regime and incorporation of rights for refugees. At the same time, the law is not without some minor flaws in that the powers and functions of the proposed Refugee Commissioner have not been clearly identified, and there are some loopholes such as the absence of a clear standard of proof in the exclusion clauses.



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