A Month, a Year, a Decade?

The Temporal Capacity of Protection for Refugees and Other Forced Migrants - Nov 11, 2019
11 November, 2019

 

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The Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, with the support of the McGill Refugee Research Group, welcome Professor Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales Law, Sydney, Australia; Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law; and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law journal.

In refugee law, the meaning of ‘well-founded fear of being persecuted’ has been extensively examined by courts and scholars alike. Yet, there has been very little consideration of how far into the future a risk of persecution may extend for protection to be warranted.

This lack of guidance on the question of timing has allowed an inappropriate notion of ‘imminence’ to infiltrate refugee decision-making across a range of jurisdictions – at times resulting in people being denied protection. It is especially pertinent to human rights-based claims involving harms that may manifest more gradually over time, such as those relating to the slow-onset impacts of climate change.

Professor McAdam’s talk examines how certain courts have grappled with ‘time’ in a relatively nuanced way, highlighting principles that may be instructive for other contexts.

Workplace Sexual Harassment: Assessing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Law in Canada

9 October, 2019

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Professor Bethany Hastie, LLM’12, DCL’15, Peter A. Allard School of Law (UBC), will give a talk on her published research report analyzing workplace sexual harassment complaints under human rights law. Hosted by the Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law.

Sparked by the #MeToo movement, social commentary and media have revived broad-based discussions concerning sexual harassment and misconduct in contemporary workplaces. Evidence suggests that legal claims concerning sexual harassment and misconduct are increasingly being pursued through human rights tribunals. However, there is reason for concern that the increasingly documented issues attending victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence in the criminal justice system may arise in complaints of sexual harassment under human rights law as well. This lecture draws on a report that analyzed substantive decisions on the merits concerning workplace sexual harassment at each of the BC and Ontario Human Rights Tribunals from 2000-2018, with a view to identifying how the law of sexual harassment is understood, interpreted and applied by the Tribunals’ adjudicators. In particular, this lecture focuses on demonstrating how gender-based stereotypes and myths known to occur in criminal justice proceedings arise in the human rights context for sexual harassment complainants.

About the speaker

Bethany Hastie is an Assistant Professor at the Peter Allard School of Law at UBC. She holds a DCL and LLM from McGill University and a JD from UBC. Bethany’s research examines precarious labour in the intersection spaces of human rights, immigration, and labour and employment law. Her recently completed report, “Workplace Sexual Harassment: Assessing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Law in Canada” was completed with funding from the Canadian Bar Association Law for the Future Fund. Her work on sexual harassment law is forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and has been presented in academic and practice settings across Canada.