Please note that this event has been cancelled due to the university’s recommendation of the cancellation of non-essential gatherings
Guest Speaker: Efrat Arbel, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Allard School of Law
Regulated by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Canada’s immigration detention regime empowers the Canada Border Service Agency to detain foreign nationals for discretionary reasons in penal conditions of confinement. The regime suffers from significant problems, including a lack of oversight, no time limits, inadequate facilities, and widespread detention of refugees, children, and the mentally ill. To date, the litigation surrounding immigration detention has been advanced primarily through public law, with mixed success. While these challenges have helped clarify the legalities of immigration detention, they have offered relatively little recourse to detainees who have suffered violations of legal rights. This presentation maps a different approach through which to litigate detention, by turning away from public law and towards private law, and specifically the law of torts. The presentation will reflect on what this research teaches both about the law of detention, and more broadly, the law of torts.
Efrat Arbel is Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Allard School of Law. Her research examines how legal rights are negotiated and defined in liminal legal spaces like the border, the detention center, and the prison. Dr. Arbel completed her BA at McGill University, her JD at UBC, and her masters and doctoral studies at Harvard Law School. Combining her academic work with legal practice, Dr. Arbel is also engaged in advocacy and litigation involving refugee and prisoner rights. She consults with various government agencies and is a frequent media commentator on refugee and prison law issues.