Immigration and Refugee Law (Fall 2009)
Professor Constance MacIntosh (Office 317)
Monday 11:00 – 12:30 (Room 304)
Wednesday 1:30 – 3:00 (Room 304)
Office Hours: Please email me to set up an appointment, or drop by after class.
This class considers law, policy and procedure relating to migration into Canada. It will address both practice
issues and the social, political and economic context and consequences of migration control. Areas covered will
include: the constitutional basis for migration legislation; immigrating to Canada; obtaining protection as a
refugee; procedure before the immigration and refugee board; enforcement mechanisms; and refoulement. The
class may also cover: the relationship between policy goals and legislation; historic and current practices of
inclusion and exclusion; theories about statehood and border-control; security; human trafficking and
smuggling; and the application of international human rights instruments.
Option 1 (Default): 100% final exam
The final exam has been scheduled for Thursday, December 17th, starting at 9:30 am. It will be a three hour
exam. It is a modified „closed book‟ exam. Students will be provided with a copy of the table of contents from
the course casebook in the exam room. You may also bring your copy of the course‟s Legislative Supplement
into the exam, which may be reasonably annotated. For this course, the term “reasonably annotated” is to be
interpreted in light of ensuring that students do not abuse the opportunity to draw upon a copy of the legislation,
by using it as a vehicle to import their course notes (and thus make the exam more like a full open book exam).
To reflect this intention, “reasonable annotations” include making cross-references to relevant cases (ie. their
names and a few words), to other legislative provisions, tabbing, etc. If a student‟s Legislative Supplement
includes excessive annotations, such as charting out a test, etc, the student will lose the right to rely upon a copy
of the legislation, and their copy will be removed from the examination room. Students may wish to consult with
the professor well before the exam date to confirm that their annotations are reasonable. If you carry any data
devices such as a cell phone, blackberry, pager, trio, etc., it must be kept in a bag and turned off during the entire
Option 2: 60% final exam + 40% research paper (15-20 pages).
Students selecting this option will write specified questions on the final exam, worth a total of 60%. They will
have 108 minutes to write the assigned portion (108 minutes = 60% of the three hour exam period.) The
assigned questions will be primarily hypotheticals (as opposed to pure “essay” style questions). The same rules
regarding the exam being a modified closed book exam, as described in Option 1 above, will apply. The paper
will be evaluated based on the major paper grading guide in the calendar, modified by the reduced length of the
The paper is due on Friday, December 3rd, by noon, and is to be handed into reception for date and time
stamping. An electronic copy must also be sent to the instructor by email by the due date/time. Students
selecting this option must inform the professor, in writing, of their choice to do so by 4pm on December 3rd. A
student‟s evaluation choice is immutable as of December 3rd at 4pm. After this date/time, students may neither
opt into nor deselect this option.
Required materials: Course casebook & Legislative Supplement.
All students in this course must read
the University policies on plagiarism and academic honesty referenced in the Policies and
Student Resources sections of the plagiarism.dal.ca website, and
the Law School policy on plagiarism, as set out in the law school regulations (available in hard
copy from the Associate Dean's office and online at
Any paper or assignment submitted by a student at Dalhousie Law School may be checked for
originality to confirm that the student has not plagiarized from other sources. Plagiarism is considered
a serious academic offence which may lead to loss of credit, suspension or expulsion from the law
school, or even revocation of a degree. It is essential that there be correct attribution of authorities from
which facts and opinions have been derived. Prior to submitting any paper or other assignment,
students should read and familiarize themselves with the policies referred to above.
Course Outline: Immigration and Refugee Law, Winter 2008 1/4
Ignorance of the policies on plagiarism will not excuse any violation of those policies.
Students with Special Needs/Requests for Accommodation
Professor Pothier is the faculty advisor to students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss in-
class accommodation or in-class study assistance needs should see Professor Pothier.
Students seeking special accommodation with regard to any aspect of course evaluation (including
exam deferrals and extensions to deadlines) must make an application to the Studies Committee.
Academic regulations require such requests to be made as soon possible and, in any event, no later
than the date on which the exam is to be written or the paper or other assignment is to be submitted.
Students should contact Associate Dean Michael Deturbide or Assistant Dean Elizabeth Hughes for
more information about requests for accommodation and about the Studies Committee process.
Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Advisory in relation to Academic Continuity
In the event of an escalation of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, the University may need to
authorize Academic Units to change elements of class schedules and/or evaluation plans as outlined in
course syllabi. Any change is intended to support the primary goal of reducing the risk of spreading a
pandemic influenza among students, faculty and staff.
Although it is difficult to predict the severity of the pandemic, the University is committed to
minimizing the impact on student‟s academic progress. Therefore, every effort will be made to provide
students with options for continued learning and for continued fair evaluations.
Changes may include but are not limited to:
· Adjustments to course assignments;
· Changes to the dates of exams;
· Arrangements for alternative evaluations for students affected by H1N1 influenza virus;
· Adjustments to work terms;
· Modification of marks awarded for participation;
· Adjustments to attendance policies.
Any alternative plan made in individual courses may be superseded by University-wide or Government
measures to reduce the spread of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.
Course Outline: Immigration and Refugee Law, Winter 2008 2/4
Course Schedule: Please note that this schedule is subject to amendment.
Monday 11:00-12:30 Wednesday 1:30 - 3
Introduction (no assigned readings)
Introduction: Making Decisions about Law, Policy & Practice in Historic Perspective
Migration, Borders and Mobility Ch II
Relevance of the Charter and International Citizenship and Permanent Residents
Ch III Ch IV
Citizenship and Permanent Residents (cont) class cancelled
Refugees in the International Context
Ch V, s.2 and 5
Oct. 5 7
The Refugee Definition in Canada The Refugee Definition in Canada
- Introduction - Persecution
- standards of review and IFAs - Grounds of persecution
- ‘Owing to a well-founded fear’ - Outside of Country
- Delay, Subjective Fear and Credibility - Unable or unwilling to return
Ch VI, sections 1,2,3 Ch VI, sections 4 – 7
Thanksgiving Day The Refugee Definition in Canada
University is closed - Persecution
- Grounds of persecution
- Outside of Country
- Unable or unwilling to return
(review Ch VI, sections 4-7)
The Refugee Definition in Canada 19 21
- Gender-based claims Interdiction, refoulement and expulsion of refugees
Persons in need of protection Ch VII
Ch VI, sections 8-9
Immigration to Canada Immigration to Canada
- Decision-making structure & process - Economic classes (Cont)
- Standard of review - Business immigrants
- Economic classes - Investors
- Skilled Workers - Entrepreneurs
- Canadian Experience - Self-employed
Ch VIII, sections 1-3 Ch VIII, section 4
Nov 2 4
Immigration to Canada Immigration to Canada
- Economic classes (Cont) - Family class immigrants
- Business immigrants Ch. VIII, section 5
(review Ch VIII, section 4)
Immigration to Canada Remembrance Day
- Family class immigrants University is closed
Ch. VIII, section 5
Immigration to Canada Immigration to Canada
- Temporary statuses - Humanitarian & Compassionate Grounds
Ch. VIII, section 6 Ch. VIII, section 7
Exclusion and Removals Exclusion and Removals
- overview & principles Grounds for deportation/inadmissibility
- deportation to torture - medical inadmissibility
- admissibility hearings & appeals - criminality
Ch. IX, sections 1-4 - war crimes & crimes against humanity
Ch IX, Section 5a – 5c
Exclusion and Removals 30 Dec 2
- terrorism and public safety Review exam from two years ago
- security certificates
Ch IX, Section 5d – 6
Course Outline: Immigration and Refugee Law, Winter 2008 3/4
Paper Suggestions These suggestions are intended to pique your interest...
Admission and removal practices (eg. Is there consistency between what they are supposed to
do and what they actually achieve?)
Relationship between criminal law, and immigration and refugee law
Current programs for the admission of persons on a temporary basis (eg. do they still run afoul of the
critique of „good enough to work here but not good enough to stay‟?)
The Immigrant Visa System (eg. what does its internal logic actually support?)
Current Reform Proposals (eg. modifying the refugee system to reflect the UK model)
Persons in need of protection (eg practical and conceptual consequences re compliance with
Administrative and Judicial Review mechanisms
Nationality and Citizenship, dual or multiple citizenship, loss of citizenship,
Birthright citizenship (eg does it still make sense?)
Designing a Better System: What should it reflect? (e.g. causes of migration, economic need,
countering brain drain south, etc)
Gender-Based Persecution as a Basis for a Grant of Asylum (eg. It is consistent with the Convention?
Are proponents of this ground imposing feminist values on the world? (And if so, is this an appropriate
role for Canada to play?))
Close analysis of elements of the refugee definition (eg. When does discrimination become
Treatment of fraud & misrepresentation in immigration and refugee proceedings
Marriage Fraud in Immigration Law
The Role of Culture in determining genuineness of a marriage
Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude and Immigration Law
Compliance with the Torture Convention through our IRPA system
The Impact of Missing Documentation on Refugee Determination and Landing
The Deterrent Value of Detention on Irregular Migrants and Asylum Seekers
Comparing Practices for Removal of Rejected Refugee Claimants
Is Temporary Protection an adequate alternative to granting permanent status to refugee claimants?
More Economical? Morally Acceptable? More Efficacious?
The assault exclusion and spousal sponsorship
Does the Convention require a finding of subjective fear? Would it make any difference if Canada
shifted to a purely „objective‟ assessment?
Open or closed borders?
Role of Ministerial discretion: does it engender or obviate political responsibility?
Course Outline: Immigration and Refugee Law, Winter 2008 4/4