5th Annual Howard Adelman Lecture: From Singh to C-31: What....Happened?
Nov 15, 2012, 5-8PM
The even'ts guest speaker, Peter Showler, is the advocacy coordinator for the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and the director of the Refugee Forum at the Human Rights Research & Education Centre, University of Ottawa.
Showler's lecture will examine the changes to the refugee system since 1985, with the Supreme Court of Canada's famous Singh decision, to the present, with the passage and implementation of Bill C-31, Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act. In recent years, there have been dramatic changes to Canada's refugee determination system that made it more and more difficult for refugee claimants to be able to tell their story and present their case in a fair hearing in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. Showler will argue that recent legislative changes to Canada's refugee protection system have undermined the refugee claimants' rights to a fair hearing. These are ominous developments that have moved us away from the Supreme Court of Canada's Singh decision, one of the first Charter of Rights & Freedoms judgements of the Supreme Court of Canada, that is celebrated each year on April 4 as "Refugee Rights Day in Canada."
Showler teaches immigration and refugee law and advanced refugee law in the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. Showler has also served as chair of the Immigration & Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and he is the author of the highly acclaimed, Refugee Sandwich: Stories of Exile and Asylum (2006). He also served as a member of the IRB (1994-1999) and practiced immigration and refugee law (1986-1994), while serving as the co-director of the Ottawa-Carleton Community Legal Services, a community legal clinic providing free legal services in traditional poverty law areas.