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The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees has been called the Magna Carta of international refugee law and it has served as “the cornerstone of protection” for millions upon millions of people, since it was first adopted on the 28th of July 1951, and entered in force on 22nd of April 1954. This year, 2011, marks an important milestone for the 1951 Convention, its 60th anniversary. This year also marks another important milestone, the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Such important historic markers for these two international refugee and statelessness rights instruments call for some serious reflection and thought on these seminal international instruments.
Following our highly successful 2008 Critical Issues in International Refugee Law Research Workshop (please see www.yorku.ca/ciirl/2008), the second Critical Issues in International Refugee Law Research Workshop seeks to bring together distinguished Superior and High Court judges and leading legal scholars in the field from around the world, as well as senior government and intergovernmental officials, including UNHCR officials, and others to York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, April 26th, and Wednesday, April 27th, in order to examine and to study in depth four critical issues in international refugee law. [read more ]