Legal Aid Ontario's Refugee Law Services: An Empirical Assessment
Mar 26, 2014, 12:30pm-2pm
Osgoode Hall Law School
Refugee status determinations involve life and death decision-making. If refugees are not recognized as such due to uncorrected errors in the refugee determination process, they may be deported to countries where they face persecution, torture or even death. For this reason, the Supreme Court has found that the Canadian refugee determination process engages constitutional rights to life, liberty and security of the person – and that, as a result, the process must comply with the principles of fundamental justice.
Given the high stakes involved in the refugee determination process, it is not surprising that many legal aid programs in Canada, including Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), provide publicly funded legal assistance to refugee claimants. Unfortunately, in recent years, Canadian legal aid programs have faced serious financial constraints as well as challenges related to revisions to the refugee determination system. As a result, legal aid services for refugee claimants across Canada have undergone substantial changes – and, for the most part, have become increasingly restrictive.
In this presentation, Prof. Rehaag will critically assess LAO's refugee law services, focusing on how these services (and the increasing restrictions) impact refugee claimants in Ontario. Drawing on this assessment, he will make evidence-based recommendations for reforms to better serve refugee claimants in Ontario.
|Location:||2027 Osgoode Hall Law School|