The Growing Culture of Exclusion: Trends in Canadian Refugee Exclusions
International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 23, pp. 54-92, 2011
Posted: 23 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2011
This article tracks trends in the use of the Refugee Convention's exclusion provisions in Canada from 1998 to 2008. Every publically available exclusion case during this time was gathered and this considerable body of jurisprudence was supplemented with data obtained using Access to Information laws. The data was analyzed to track the use of exclusion measures, the types of exclusion measures most often used, and the responsiveness of the refugee tribunal to the government's arguments in favour of exclusion (in other words, the government's success rate). In addition to this quantitative analysis, a qualitative assessment was made of how allegations of terrorism and exclusion are related. In this analysis, the focus was on judicial reasoning and on how the meaning of ‘terrorism’ within Canadian refugee law has expanded during this time frame. The article concludes that post-2001 security politics have influenced both the rate of exclusions and the judicial discourse surrounding terrorism. Following on from this conclusion, the article considers how both 'morality' and 'sovereignty' are redefined within Canadian refugee law.
Keywords: Canada, Refugee Convention
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