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 septembre 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 septembre 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.

 

 

 

 

 

  Al Awda refugee camp, managed by URDA, Bar Elias, Bekaa, Lebanon (Source: Kikano, 2017)

On Spaces and Rights : Refugee Hosting and Settlement Policies in Lebanon and Turkey

Event: March 16, 2018; New Chancellor Day Hall room 202, McGill Faculty of Law; 12:00-14:00
16 février 2018

Refugee populations are often perceived as an unexpected, disruptive, and temporary burden. This perception often drives countries of asylum to adopt short-term and exclusionary policies regarding refugees’ rights and settlements strategies.  Almost 85 % of the world’s refugees are in the Middle East & North Africa. This region has witnessed during the last few decades two of the most significant refugee crises. First, with the Palestinian refugee influx in 1948. Second, with the Syrian conflict after 2011. While in Turkey, the Syrian refugee population is estimated to be of nearly 3.5 million, Lebanon is hosting almost 500,000 Palestinians and 1.5 million Syrians. This presentation compares refugee hosting and settlements policies in Turkey and in Lebanon. It seeks to demonstrate that in Lebanon, the same policies, those adopted 70 years ago vis-à-vis the Palestinians, are being implemented today with Syrian refugees. These policies are based on institutional, social, economic and spatial exclusion. Seeking to dissuade refugees from staying, they engender similar drawbacks : competition over housing and jobs, refugee exploitation, increasing poverty, growing social tensions, security breaches, and (sometimes armed) ghettoization. The Lebanese experience will be then compared with the Turkish hosting policies for Syrian refugees, with an emphasis on the Turkey-EU deal. This panel highlights the importance of long-term planning and development strategies for refugees. It examines the benefits of integrative approaches and refugee empowerment for both refugee and host populations.

 

Short Biographies

Rouba Al-Salem is a Steinberg Fellow in International Migration Law and Policy at the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University.

Faten Kikano is a researcher and a PhD candidate in the faculty of built environment at Université de Montréal.

Semuhi Sinanoğlu is a policy consultant from Turkey and a resident fellow at Jeanne Sauvé Foundation.

This event will be moderated by Associate Professor Nandini Ramanujam, the Executive Director and Director of Programs of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

 

Migration and Climate Change : Legal and Practical Challenges

Event: November 29, 2017, Room 316 NCDH, McGill Faculty of Law, 13:00-14:30

In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscored that the gravest effects of climate change may be those on human migration. Although environmental change related human movement is not a new phenomenon, there is a growing concern that the numbers of persons displaced as a result of the current and future trends in global climate change could turn out to be unmanageably large. This concern has sparked debates in legal, policy and academic circles on what should be done to address the plight of those who migrate or are displaced because of events that have resulted from or become aggravated by climate change. The talk will engage with literature proposing legal and policy responses to address this phenomenon, including creative interpretation of existing international law, and the adoption of a new multilateral instrument (a stand-alone multilateral instrument or a protocol to the Refugee Convention or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and it will also discuss the developing jurisprudence on climate change and migration in New Zealand’s courts.

Speaker : Hanna Haile

Hanna Haile is Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow at the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Her research and writing interests lie in the fields of international human rights, migration, environmental law, sustainability and intellectual property rights, with a particular interest on the question of how cultural phenomena shape and are shaped by law. Recently, she has been working on a project on the impacts of the activities of copper mining companies on communities living on the Copperbelt of Zambia. She holds a J.S.D. and an LL.M. from Cornell Law School and LL.B. from the University of Asmara. Prior to joining the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she has worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Cornell University, the University of Asmara and the High Court of Asmara in Eritrea.

 

The Labouring Subject of Refugee Economies

Event: November 23, 2017, Room 16, OCDH, McGill Faculty of Law, 10:00am-12:00pm

Most writings on refugee economy or the immigrant economy refer to changes in the immigrant labour absorption policies of the Western governments. In these writings the refugee economy or the immigrant economy never features directly ; refugees are seen as economic actors in the market. But we do not get a full picture of why capitalism in late twentieth or early twenty first century needs these refugee or immigrant labour as economic actors. The organic link between the immigrant as an economic actor and the global capitalist economy seems to escape the analysis in these writings. Yet, if immigration policies produce precarious labour, this has general significance for the task of theorising the migrant as living labour. The question of the production of living labour is important because it puts in a critical perspective the necessity of the states and the international regime of protection to synchronise the economic and the political strategies of protection. Yet the disjuncture between the two strategies of protection is not only typical of the postcolonial parts of the globe, the disjuncture is evident in the developed countries. Globally, one can say, capital sets in motion movements of labour within a specific field of force that dictates how and why migrant labour is to be harnessed, disciplined, and governed (for instance the dominant presence of immigrant labour in logistics, health care, agriculture, etc.), and that shapes the links between “strategies” (that control migrants once they are in motion) and the mechanisms that set these movements in motion.

Speaker : Ranabir Samaddar, O’Brien Fellow in Residence

Ranabir Samaddar belongs to the critical school of thinking and is considered as one of the foremost theorists in the field of migration and forced migration studies. The much-acclaimed The Politics of Dialogue (2004) was a culmination of his long work on justice, rights, and peace.He is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group, India.

Respondent : Megan Bradley, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Development Studies at McGill University.

Professor Bradley’s research focuses on the rights and wellbeing of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as on questions of transitional justice, reconciliation, and accountability for human rights violations. She holds a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and is the author of Refugee Repatriation : Justice, Responsibility and Redress (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In late 2015, Megan published a book entitled Forced Migration, Reconciliation and Justice with MQUP which explores the harsh reality that more people were displaced globally in early 2015 by conflict and human rights violations than at any time since the Second World War.

Respondent : Hanna Haile, Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow at the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Hanna Haile’s research and writing interests lie in the fields of international human rights, migration, environmental law, sustainability and intellectual property rights, with a particular interest on the question of how cultural phenomena shape and are shaped by law. Recently, she has been working on a project on the impacts of the activities of copper mining companies on communities living on the Copperbelt of Zambia. She holds a J.S.D. and an LL.M. from Cornell Law School and LL.B. from the University of Asmara. Prior to joining the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she has worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Cornell University, the University of Asmara and the High Court of Asmara in Eritrea.