CRS Annual General Meeting: 2:30 – 3:30pm
Anniversary Lecture: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Experimenting with Refugee Status Adjudication
Guest speaker: Sean Rehaag, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Professor Rehaag’s prior research has found that outcomes in Canadian refugee determinations frequently come down to who happens to serve as the adjudicator, with some adjudicators granting refugee protection much more frequently than others, even when factors like country of origin are taken into consideration. His research has also revealed that some of the variation in refugee claim grant rates across adjudicators is likely related to how adjudicators approach credibility assessments: some adjudicators tend to believe refugee claimants, while others simply do not.
After offering this overview, Professor Rehaag will share the preliminary findings of experimental research he is currently undertaking with Professor Hilary Evans Cameron. That research involves hundreds of law students acting as simulated refugee adjudicators in an experiment designed to help shed light on factors that influence credibility assessments, particularly in the area of sexual minority refugee claims.
Professor Sean Rehaag specializes in immigration and refugee law, human rights and legal process. He frequently contributes to public debates about immigration and refugee law, and he engages in law reform efforts in these areas. In 2012, he received the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers Advocacy Award for outstanding achievement in advocacy on behalf of refugees. He is also committed to exploring innovative teaching methodologies, with a particular interest in clinical and experiential education. In 2011, he received the Osgoode Teaching Excellence Award. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Academic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services.