Tag Archives: Women judges

Changes to Canada's Refugee Laws likely to Negatively Impact Women and Minorities

My (freshly tenured!) colleague Sean Rehaag sent me all the raw materials for a post on this current issue.
Here is a link to the Parliamentary website for the bill, and here is a link to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s description of the changes that the bill will bring in.

“Too many tax dollars are spent on bogus refugees. We need to send a message to those who would abuse Canada’s generous asylum system that if you are not in need of protection, you will be sent home quickly,” added Minister Kenney.

 Sean’s research and the work of other immigration lawyers and scholars (see the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers website) highlight all sorts of problems with the significant changes that are proposed.  He writes:
…the Minister will be given the power to designate certain countries as safe. Refugee claimants from those countries will not get access to the full refugee determination system (including the appeal at the Refugee Appeal Division).
This will have disproportionate effects on refugees facing persecution on account of gender and/or sexual orientation, because empirical research shows that such refugees disproportionately come from countries with low overall success rates (even though this subset of claimants from those countries do quite well). In other words: countries that are safe for most folks may not be safe for women and sexual minorities.
….the process through which the Minister designates countries as safe does not take these differences into account. You can see some of the empirical research on grant rates for gender/sexual orientation claims in my article, Do Women Refugee Judges Really Make a Difference? (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1963924).
It’s hard to keep up with all the vicious legislation being proposed (and passed) these days.

Roundup of IFLS Recent Tweets

In case you aren’t a twitter person, I sometimes put news up on our twitter feed at @osgoodeifls – and I often retweet news from others – here’s a recent roundup.  We also tweet all our posts, if you prefer to get them that way.

Hope you had a happy st. patrick’s day!


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Meet the Judges: September 23 WLAO & OBA wine/cheese/talk in Toronto

Ok, Judge Judy won’t be there.  but Justices Feldman, Sachs and Newton will (along with some others, as yet unconfirmed).

The WLAO (Women’s Law Association of Ontario) and the Feminist Legal Analysis Section of the OBA are hosting this panel discussion.  Looks kind of fun, and there’s just so much to discuss now (beyond “what should we wear to court?”).

You can register online, and prices are quite reasonable ($20 for students!).

Joan McDonald and Osgoode’s new Assistant Dean (JD Program) Ronda Bessner are the program Co-Chairs.

Meet the Judges

Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 5:30 pm
OBA Conference Centre, 2nd Floor, 20 Toronto Street | Toronto, Ontario

The OBA and WLAO are pleased to invite you to spend an evening with distinguished women
judges discussing the challenges and keys to success on their path to the bench. The event will
feature a wine and cheese reception, a moderated panel discussion and an interactive Q & A
session to follow. Women recently called to the bar and associates are particularly encouraged to