Professor Sean Rehaag is the Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies and the Director of the Refugee Law Laboratory. He specializes in immigration and refugee law, administrative law, legal process, access to justice, and new legal technologies. He frequently contributes to public debates about immigration and refugee law, and he engages in law reform efforts in these areas. He is also committed to exploring innovative teaching methodologies, with a particular interest in clinical and experiential education. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Academic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services.
Professor Rehaag’s interdisciplinary academic research focuses on empirical studies of immigration and refugee law decision-making processes. He currently holds an SSHRC grant involving new legal technologies, artificial intelligence and quantitative research on Canadian refugee adjudication. He is also pursuing research using experiments to better understand how refugee adjudicators make credibility assessments. In 2013, he received the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Scholarly Paper Award for an article entitled “Judicial Review of Refugee Determinations: The Luck of the Draw?”. He publishes yearly statistics on Canada’s refugee determination system. Many of his publications are available open-access on SSRN.
Prior to joining the Osgoode faculty in 2008, Professor Rehaag was a visiting scholar at the Université de Montreal’s Chaire de recherche du Canada en droit international des migrations. He has also been a visiting scholar with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings, a visiting researcher at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and an instructor at the University of Victoria and the Université de Sherbrooke. He holds a doctorate from the University of Toronto, bachelor’s degrees in civil law and common law from McGill University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia.
Research Interests: Immigration and Refugee Law, Empirical Legal Studies, Judicial/Administrative Decision-Making, New Legal Technologies, Legal Process, Access to Justice, Gender and Sexuality
Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Rehaag is interested in working with students on projects involving refugee law, immigration law, access to justice, judicial/administrative decision-making, and law & technology. He is especially eager to supervise projects in these areas that use research methods that go beyond standard doctrinal legal research, including: quantitative empirical research, data scraping, machine learning, predictive algorithms, artificial intelligence, and experimental methods. In addition to students with law degrees, students with backgrounds in data science, computer science, software engineering, statistics, experimental psychology, or related fields, who are interested in exploring intersections between their discipline and law are welcome to apply. Projects with the potential to enhance social justice will be prioritized.
Professor Rehaag is willing to read preliminary proposals from strong students in the areas of interest listed, and comment on interest in supervision prior to submission of an official application.