Instructor(s): Professor A. Bhatia
Description: 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. We may supplement our learning with guest speakers and field trips as relevant and available. This course requires consistent and active student participation throughout the term: attendance, reading the materials in advance, participation in class exercises and discussion of course materials, and engagement with colleagues and guest speakers.
Evaluation: Class participation, written assignments, and group exercises.