CRS Seminar: ‘Refugee Law’s Fact-Finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake

November 8, 2017 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
626 Kaneff Tower
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Michele Millard

Guest speaker: Hilary Evans Cameron

How should an adjudicator decide whether a refugee claimant’s evidence is trustworthy?  In a context of profound uncertainty, how should these decisions be structured and how can they be justified? This talk provides an overview of a decade of interdisciplinary research into these questions, culminating in a proposal for a new legal model of refugee status decision-making.

Dr. Evans Cameron practiced refugee law for a decade, representing claimants before the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Federal Court. Her research explores decision-making in the refugee determination context with a focus on credibility assessment. She has published two articles on this topic in the International Journal of Refugee Law, one of which was included in a leading anthology of the “the finest scholarship available” in refugee law from the 1930s to the present (Hathaway 2014). She has also written on the right of Canadian children to challenge their parents’ deportations in Federal Court (UBC Law Review), on legal pedagogy (Journal of Law and Social Policy), and on the standard of judicial review (Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees relies on her research, and invited her to Europe to participate in a UN Expert Roundtable on Credibility Determination. Dr. Evans Cameron recently went to Sweden to assist renowned lie detection researcher Dr. Pär Anders Granhag and a team of cognitive psychologists attempting to improve credibility assessment in the Swedish refugee system. She is an instructor at Trinity College, a Visiting Associate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics, and an Adjunct Professor and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School. Her upcoming book about the law of fact-finding in refugee status decision-making (Refugee Law’s Fact-finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake) will be published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press.