Poster

‘Camps That Are Becoming Cities – Cities That Are Becoming Camps: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

The Oppenheimer Chair is pleased to welcome Faten Kikano, PhD Candidate in Environmental Design, from the Université de Montréal for a conference and a photo exhibition. Ms. Kikano will present her research and her photos about the life of  Syrian refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Join us for a lunch, a short conference…
Sonia Cancian Poster
Monday, 27 March 2017

The Power of Life Stories: Situating the Narratives of Migrants and Refugees within the Context of the Law

The Oppenheimer Chair and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism are pleased to welcome Dr. Sonia Cancian, from Zayed University for a seminar on life stories of migrants and refugees and the law. This seminar will lead a discussion on life stories of migrants and refugees and their power (or not) within…

Refugee Law’s Fact-Finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake

When/Where: Friday, September 28 at 13:00 in room 201, McGill Faculty of Law
22 September, 2018

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Which mistake is worse: to deny a refugee claim that should have been granted, or to grant a claim that should have been denied?

Professor Hilary Evans Cameron from the University of Toronto argues that refugee law should recognize an obligation under the Convention to resolve doubt in the claimant’s favour. What is more, to meet its Convention obligations refugee status determination must function as a risk assessment. Building on UK and Australian jurisprudence, Professor Cameron proposes a decision-making model that gives effect to these two legal imperatives.

About the speaker: A former litigator, Hilary Evans Cameron represented refugee claimants for a decade, and now holds a doctorate in refugee law from the University of Toronto. She is the SSHRC’s 2017 Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Research and the author of a book about the law of fact-finding in refugee status decision-making (Refugee Law’s Fact-finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake, Cambridge 2018). Her research, which largely focuses on how refugee status adjudicators make credibility assessments, has been influential internationally and was recently included in a leading anthology of “the finest scholarship available” in refugee law from the 1930s to the present (Hathaway 2014). Dr. Evans Cameron teaches at Trinity College in the Ethics, Society and Law program and is a postdoctoral fellow and adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.

“International Lawyers’ Failing. Outlawing Weapons as an Imperfect Project of Classical Law of War.”

When/Where: Monday, September 24 at 13:00 in New Chancellor Day Hall in room 316, McGill Faculty of Law 
22 September, 2018

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The industrial revolution and subsequent technological progress enabled the production and use of a new range of weapons and military equipment. How did international law and lawyers react to this development? What arguments based on legal doctrine were in favour of or against outlawing “uniquely evil” weapons?

Professor Milos Vec will discuss how the self-perceptions of nineteenth-century international lawyers and their beliefs in the progress of technology and civilization were overshadowed by Eurocentrism. He will supply evidence how such attitudes contributed to the failure of the project of outlawing weapon.

About the Presenter: Miloš Vec is Professor of European Legal and Constitutional History at Vienna University and a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM, Vienna). Habilitation in Legal History, Philosophy of Law, Theory of Law, and Civil Law from Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Until 2012 he worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History and taught there. Further teaching at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg, Konstanz, Lyon, Tübingen, and Vilnius. Fellow to the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, 2011/2012; Senior Global Hauser Fellow at NYU in 2017; associate member of the Cluster of Excellence “Normative Orders” at Frankfurt University. Free-lance journalist, particularly for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity Statement: Changing our Mindset and Understanding the Complexity of Migration

27 August, 2018

4407-CREPEAU-OEStatement by François Crépeau (former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants) in response to Ayelet Shachar‘s opening question at the Second Annual Goethe-Göttingen Critical Exchange Roundtable Discussion. Shahar’s opening question was: “What in your opinion, are the biggest challenges we currently face in the context of migration? How are legal institutions and other social actors – local, national, regional, transnational, or international – helping to understand and address them?”

The roundtable was chaired and moderated by Prof. Ayelet Shachar and the event was co-organized with Prof. Rainer Forst of the Normative Orders Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main.

1. Changing our mindset: overcoming stereotypes

The biggest challenge is to change our mindset regarding migration, to change how we represent migrants.

Our most common assumptions regarding migration are too often based on stereotypes, myths and fantasies regarding the “radical difference” of the migrants.

This is most visible when we talk about “our people” migrating:  we call them “expats” or “tourists” or “executives” or “retirees”. We very rarely describe mobile people from the Global North – or even the elite 1% of the Global South – as “migrants”.

Fear of the “mobile other” seems a common thread of all settled societies throughout history, including the invention of the despised “asylum seeker” around 1982, in order to distinguish them from the good refugees who waited patiently in camps to be picked and chosen, or not.

Because of this fear, we need to remember the former kinds of migrants when we speak about migrants in a precarious situation: asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and temporary migrant workers.

Migration is in our DNA. It is a normal human behaviour. We are almost all migrants or immediate descendants of migrants. Settlement is often only generational.

To access the statement, please click here.

Five myths about the refugee crisis

The cameras have gone – but the suffering endures. Daniel Trilling deconstructs the beliefs that still shape policy and public opinion
5 June, 2018

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Myth 1: The crisis is over

The refugee crisis that dominated the news in 2015 and 2016 consisted primarily of a sharp rise in the number of people coming to Europe to claim asylum. Arrivals have now dropped, and governments have cracked down on the movement of undocumented migrants within the EU; many thousands are stuck in reception centres or camps in southern Europe, while others try to make new lives in the places they have settled.

But to see the crisis as an event that began in 2015 and ended the following year is a mistake, because it obscures the fact that the underlying causes have not changed. To see it in those terms only gives the impression of a hitherto unsullied Europe, visited by hordes of foreigners it has little to do with. This is misleading. The disaster of recent years has as much to do with immigration policies drawn up in European capitals as it does with events outside the continent, and the crisis also consists of overreaction and panic, fuelled by a series of misconceptions about who the migrants are, why they come, and what it means for Europe.

To read the full article, please click here.

 

Our World’s Refugees

Interview with Professor François Crépeau in ThoughtEconomics
14 April, 2018
François Crépeau: Migration is the result of push and pull factors. We as a species always go from a place of trouble or lack of resources, to a place with less trouble and more resources. It is what we have always done, how we have prospered on this planet. We often talk about push factors such as violence and poverty, but the biggest reason for migration is jobs. People think about migration for work as being from the ‘poor South’ to the ‘rich North’, but we all migrate, we travel, and we do so not because of poverty, deprivation or violence. We all migrate. We talk about migrants as if migration from the North  does not exist, and that’s only true because, in the North, migrants do not like to be called “migrants”: they prefer to be called expats, students or retirees. We talk often about push factors, but the major pull factor, jobs, is rarely talk about. People move to where they can establish themselves, create economic and social conditions conducive to having a family, and creating a future for one’s children. This is what we all want.

 

To access the full article, please click here