Research Workshop on Critical Issues in International Refugee Law: May 1 and 2, 2008, York University

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper provides a brief outline and summary of the key academic papers and review commentators' remarks that were presented at the Research Workshop on Critical Issues in International Refugee Law that was held at York University, Toronto, Canada, May 1 and 2, 2008. One of the principal objectives of this Research Workshop was to bring together some of the world's leading senior superior and high court judges and legal scholars to examine a limited number of key issues in international refugee law from a number of perspectives, including the jurist/practitioner and theorist/academic viewpoints, with the aim of trying to find the most promising ways forward and/or avenues for further research. Four substantive academic papers were presented by Professors Guy Goodwin-Gill, Oxford University; Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales; Geoff Gilbert, University of Essex; and Kate Jastram, University of California at Berkeley. The Research Workshop keynote address was delivered by the Honourable Justice Albie Sachs, Constitutional Court of South Africa. The Research Workshop also launched a number of wider international collaborative research projects in international refugee law that will be pursued over the next few years.

Resume

Cet article propose un bref apercu et un sommaire des principales presentations savantes et des remarques faites par les commentateurs, presentees a l'Atelier de recherche sur les questions urgentes en droit international des refugies (" Research Workshop on Critical Issues in International Refugee Law ") qui s'est tenu a l'Universite York, Toronto, Canada, les ler et 2 mai 2008. Un des principaux objectifs de l'Atelier de recherche etait de rassembler quelques uns des principaux juges doyens de Haute Cour et de Cour Supreme ainsi que des juristes chefs de file, pour qu'ils se penchent sur un nombre restreint de questions cle dans le domaine du droit des refugies a partir d'un certain nombre de perspectives, y compris les points de vue du juriste/praticien et du theoricien/chercheur universitaire respectivement, et cela dans le but de trouver les voies les plus prometteuses pour aller de l'avant/ou pour des recherches additionnelles. Quatre presentations de fond furent presentees par les professeurs Guy Goodwin-Gill, de l'universite d'Oxford, Jane McAdam de l'universite de New South Wales, Geoff Gilbert, de l'universite d'Essex et Kate Jastram de l'universite de California a Berkeley. Le discours principal de l'Atelier de recherche a ete prononce par l'honorable Juge Albie Sachs de la Cour constitutionnelle de l'Afrique du Sud. L'Atelier de recherche a aussi lance un certain nombre de projets de recherche collaboratifs elargis sur le plan international sur le droit international des refugies, dont on va faire le suivi dans les quelques annees a venir.

Introduction

The Research Workshop on Critical Issues in International Refugee Law brought together leading academics and superior and high court judges from around the world to analyze, discuss, and debate some of the most problematic issues in international refugee law in an effort to try to find the most promising solutions or to at least map out the most promising paths for future research that could lead to a possible resolution of these legal issues and concerns. In essence, the Research Workshop strove to combine the perspectives of both the theorist and researcher with those of the jurist and practitioner to an examination of a number of key issues facing international refugee law today.

The Research Workshop was premised on the notion that as the number of persons affected by forced displacement and migration continues to increase globally, an essential component of the international refugee protection regime, the determination of Convention refugee status, will continue to be confronted with ever more complex and sensitive legal issues and concerns. (1) Refugee law adjudicators, whether in government departments, administrative tribunals, or within the UNHCR, and judges, in the courts and, in particular, the appeal courts, irrespective of their jurisdiction, are now faced with dealing with an ever-growing number of critical issues in international refugee law. …