When the IARLJ convened its conference in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2002, the number of persons of concern to UNHCR world - wide was estimated to be 20 million. By 2010, that figure had grown to 30 million. It has since doubled. To many of us engaged in determining , one on one, who comes within the protective net of the Convention on the Status of Refugees, such numbers are too vast to contemplate. Ours is an extraordinary role. It embraces aspects of history, anthropology and psychology, understood through a legal framework. We conduct a conversation in a quiet room, perhaps with the help of an interpreter. The unspoken question is “why have you come here, to this place” .