Refugee protection is in a perpetual state of crisis, both domestically and abroad. Many refugee law practitioners and scholars argue that states are retrenching from their duty to provide refugees with the protection to which they are entitled under international law. At the same time, some government actors, media figures and civil society groups contend that existing refugee determination processes are excessively generous and are subject to widespread “abuse” by economically motivated migrants. Still others suggest that refugee protection regimes either distract from or help reinforce a deeper problematic: control over migration that serves to entrench global disparities in income, wealth and security.
This course offers students an opportunity to engage critically with these and other debates over refugee law at the level of theory, policy and practice. This critical engagement will occur through a collaborative examination of refugee law instruments, institutions and jurisprudence in international and domestic forums, with a heavy emphasis on Canada.
The course will be offered through live lectures and class discussions. The course will also include several weeks of student-led teaching in the second half of the term. There will be two written assignments. This course requires consistent and active student participation throughout the term, including participation in evaluated group work. There is no final exam or final paper. The course, including all evaluated work, will be complete by April 8.
NOTE: If Covid-related restrictions permit live in-person classes on campus, students will have the option of attending in-person or remotely (in which case we will be using technology from the Refugee Law Laboratory to facilitate hybrid in-person / remote learning). If Covid-related restrictions do not permit in-person classes on campus, all classes will be held remotely via Zoom.