Women Leaders in Law Fellow Lili Song

This Fellowship is supporting Lili to examine various aspects of Aotearoa New Zealand’s refugee law.

Borrin Foundation Women Leaders in Law Fellowship

Lili’s plan

Lili will use the fellowship to examines two aspects of Aotearoa New Zealand’s refugee law: (1) cancellation of refugee status, asking whether our current system is fair and effective and how it compares to other comparable jurisdictions such as the US, Canada, Australia and the UK; and (2) the good faith requirement in refugee status determination, examining the underlying policy considerations and recent development in New Zealand case law and asking whether this requirement is still justified.


About Lili

Lili is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Otago University. Her primary research and teaching area is refugee law. She first became interested in refugees during a trip to North Korea in 2007, which then led to her doctoral research on Chinese refugee law at Victoria University of Wellington. She has published extensively on refugee law, including a book Chinese Refugee Law and Policy published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.


Lili serves as editor of the Otago Law Review, and is or has been on the editorial board of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the Journal of South Pacific Law, Climate Law and Policy and the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. She is a member of the academic committee of New Zealand Asian Lawyers and was secretary of the New Zealand Asian Studies Society. She has held research or visiting positions at Oxford University, University of Michigan, the East-West Center (Honolulu), Melbourne University, the Australian National University, Chiang Mai University (Thailand), the Humanities Institute (Myanmar), and Northwestern University (US). She will be a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School in early 2024.


Grant Amount

$24,800 in 2023-2025

“I am deeply humbled to receive this fellowship. It provides crucial support to a major research project in my career and powerfully reinforces my belief in giving back to the community.”

Lili Song