On October 20, 2011, Audrey Macklin (Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) participated in a panel with Jeff Crisp (UNHCR) and Zachary Lomo on Canadian Refugee Policy in Global Context. This panel situated current Canadian refugee policy in comparative and global contexts, and stimulated plenty of discussion and debate. The impetus was recent legislation changing the refugee determination process, and forthcoming legislation that will authorize the government to designate certain groups of asylum seekers.
Prof. Macklin’s presentation was on proposed Canadian legislation entitled “Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act”. It imposes mandatory, unreviewable, automatic 1 year detention on designated adult and child migrants; those found to be refugees are denied regularization, family reunification, and a travel document for a minimum of 5 years. The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) is advocating against the bill. Their website has a brief on the unconstitutionality of the proposed legislation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and we are working on similar briefs using int’l and comparative law and practice.
The powerpoint on the bill from the Toronto panel can be found here
CARL’s website is: www.refugeelawyersgroup.ca.