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


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.

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