My interest is in the way in which legal ideas about justice and responsibility constrain our treatment of refugees. We think about justice in terms of human rights. Rights protect us against laws and practices that would otherwise be in society’s interests; they protect us from the tyranny of the majority. Yet there are problems with such an approach. First, where do rights come from? In general, philosophers imagine them as emerging from a ‘social contract’ or notional agreement by a community as to what we all expect from each other. The allocation of rights is part of the ‘deal’: you respect mine, I’ll respect yours. Secondly, how are rights enforced? In general, a right is understood as a claim demanding equal treatment.