This thesis scrutinises, from the perspective of legal theory, how contracting states have applied the Refugee Convention. It argues that a hard positivist paradigm of separating what the law is from what it ought to be is insufficient because the Convention is a legal instrument of value that protects human autonomy. That is why it is necessary to use a different framework. It will use a rational one and argue that while the Convention, as a legal document, required contracting states to protect the rational autonomy of those seeking protection, rationality has also enabled states to put their interests first. This will also be related to the wider notion of power. The thesis will then apply this rational framework to explain why Britain has passed some unreasonable measures for processing asylum claims and also use it to argue why it is becoming increasingly important for human freedom in a global world that states adopt the proper legal will.