Migration Law Research Cluster


The Migration Law Research Cluster organizes a series of lectures during the academic year. See below for a list of upcoming events.

Private Refugee Sponsorship: Concepts, Cases and Consequences A seminar and publication project. The deadline for draft papers (minimum 5000 words) is September 14, 2018.
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The Migration Law Research Cluster (MLRC) at Robson Hall is engaged in research on the intersections between law and migration, including the areas of immigration law and policy, refugee law and policy and migrant settlement and resettlement. The MLRC seeks to build knowledge and understanding in these areas and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement. The MLRC’s founding members are Professors Gerald HeckmanAmar Khoday and Shauna Labman.

Social Media

You can follow the MLRC on the following social media platforms:


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/migrationlrc/

Blog pagewww.migrationresearch.ca

MLRC Conference Report

The “Building Connections: Refugee Research and Community Outreach Conference” took place at Robson Hall on March 28th, 2014. The report is now available.

Building Bridges 2017 Conference Report

The “Building Bridges Between Canada’s Indigenous and Newcomer Groups 2017 Conference” took place at Thunderbird House on May 12 – 13, 2017. The final report is now available.

Upcoming Events 


Past Events
  • March 21, 2018
    “The Refugee Protection Division’s principled approach to last year’s challenging influx of asylum claims”
    Speaker: Shereen Benzvy Miller
  • February 28, 2018
    “Is the Sky Falling? Challenges to Canada’s Inland Refugee Protection System”
    Speaker: Maureen Silcoff
  • February 8, 2018
    “Improving Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Programs”
    Speaker: Mike Molloy
  • January 17, 2018
    “Movement without Mobility? The Labour Migration Paradox”
    Speaker: Dr. Bethany Hastie
  • November 22, 2017
    “Threat Construction and the Migration of Whiteness in U.S. Naturalization Law during the Early 20th Century”
    Speaker: Dr. Doug Coulson
  • October 18, 2017
    “Operation Ezra’: a Winnipeg initiative of the Rescue of Yazidis in broad daylight.”
    Speaker: Anita Neville & Nafiya Naso
  • September 20, 2017
    “#withrefugees from Winnipeg to Kuala Lumpur”
    Speaker: Maddie Pearlman
  • May 12-13, 2017
    Building Bridges Between Canada’s Indigenous and Newcomer Groups 2017 Conference
  • March 15, 2017
    “The scope of non-citizens’ rights to liberty and security of the person in immigration and refugee protection decision making”?
    Speaker: Dr. Gerald Heckman, Faculty of Law, Robson Hall
  • February 15, 2017
    “The Impact of President Trump’s Orders on Asylum Seekers”
    Speaker: Professor Deborah Anker, Clinical Professor of Law; Director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program
  • January 18, 2017
    “Challenges to Quality Education in Refugee Camps”
    Speaker: Dr. Jerome Cranston, Executive Director, Student Academic Success; Associate Professor (On Administrative Secondment), Educational Administration, Foundations & Psychology (EAF&P)
  • October 19, 2016
    “Resisting Criminal Organizations: Re-conceptualizing the “Political” in International Refugee Law”
    Speaker: Dr. Amar Khoday
  • September 21, 2016
    “Refugee Resettlement: Blending, Bargaining and Burden-Sharing”
    Speaker: Dr. Shauna Labman
  • March 30, 2016
    “Crossing the Red: A Refugee’s Journey”
    Speaker: Yahya Samatar (with counsel Bashir Khan)
  • February 24, 2016
    “Truth is a stubborn beast – how will you handle it?: Truth seeking and credibility assessment during refugee hearings in Canada”
    Speaker: Dr. Sule Tomkinson, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas
  • January 20, 2016
    “Reporting on refugees in Canada’s ‘most racist city'”
    Speaker: Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press reporter
  • January 13, 2016
    “Partitions, Forced Population ‘Transfers’ and the Question of Human Rights in the 1930s and 1940s”
    Speaker: A. Dirk Moses, Senior Editor, Journal of Genocide Research; Professor of Modern History, University of Sydney
  • November 18, 2015
    “Buying a Bride: From Mail-order Brides to Cyber-matches”.
    Presentation via Skype.
    Speaker: Marcia Yablon-Zug, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of South Carolina
  • October 21, 2015
    “Undocumented Immigrants in an Era of Arbitrary Law: the Flight and the Plight of People Deemed ‘Illegal'”.
    Presentation via Skype.
    Speaker Dr. Robert Barsky, Professor, Department of French and Italian, Vanderbilt University.
  • September 23, 2015
    “Resisting Participation in the ‘War on Terror’: A Deserter’s Tale”
    Speaker: Joshua Key, Iraq War resister
  • March 17, 2015
    Guest Speaker Catherine Dauvergne, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law at Allard Hall, University of British Columbia; Trudeau Fellow. The presentation will be done via Skype. The title of the presentation will be furnished at a later date.
  • February 10, 2015
    Guest Speaker François Crépeau, Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Professor in Public International Law, Faculty of Law of McGill University; United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. The presentation will be done via Skype.
    “Between Myths and Crises: Rethinking Migration Policies”
  • January 13, 2015
    Guest Speaker Tom Denton, Executive Director of Hospitality House in Winnipeg. Immigration: Historically, Morally, Pragmatically.
  • November 18, 2014
    “Land/Home Exhibition: Three Photographic and Video Artists Respond to Identity, Culture, Place.”
    Guest Speaker Sarah Ciurysek, Assistant Professor, School of Art, University of Manitoba
  • October 21, 2014
    “I Simply Do Not Believe…’: A case study of credibility determinations in Canadian Refugee Adjudication.”
    Speaker: Sean Rehaag, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School presenting (via Skype)
  • Sept. 16, 2014
    “The Next Stage of Vulnerability: Why Some Young Refugees Join Street Gangs in Winnipeg, Manitoba.”
    Speaker: Matt Fast
  • March 28, 2014
    “Building Connections: Refugee Research and Community Outreach.”
  • March 4, 2014
    “Migration, Movement and Family: Is Family Reunification a Human Right?”
    Speaker: Dr. Shauna Labman
  • January 28, 2014
    “Inquisitorial approaches to refugee determination – lessons for Canada from the Australian experience”
    Speaker: Dr. Gerald Heckman
  • Sept. 25, 2013
    “The Impact of Ezokola: Re-Defining Complicity under the Refugee Convention.”
    Speaker: Dr. Amar Khoday


Gerald Heckman, “Revisiting the Application of Section 7 of the Charter in Immigration and Refugee Protection” (2017), 68 U.N.B. L.J. 312.

Amar Khoday, “Resisting Criminal Organizations: Reconceptualizing the “Political” in International Refugee Law”, (2016) 61:3 McGill LJ 461.

Shauna Labman, “Private Sponsorship: Complement or Conflicting Interests?” (2016) 32:2 Refuge 67.

Amar Khoday, “Tough on Terror, Short on Nuance: Identifying the Use of Force as a Basis for Excluding Resisters Seeking Refugee Status” (2015) 4:2 Can J Hum Rts 179.

Amar Khoday, “Seen in its True Light: Desertion as a Pure Political Crime” (2014) 30:2 Refuge 93.

Shauna Labman & Catherine Dauvergne, “Evaluating Canada’s Approach to Gender-Related Persecution – Revisiting and Re-Embracing ‘Refugee Women and the Imperative of Categories'” in Efrat Arbel, Catherine Dauvergne, and Jenni Millbank, eds, Gender in Refugee Law: from the Margins to the Centre (London: Routledge, 2014).

Shauna Labman, “Migration, Movement & Family: The Decline of Family in Canadian Immigration” 2014(2) G20 Youth Forum Conference Proceedings 153-157.

Gerald Heckman, “Inquisitorial Approaches to Refugee Protection Decision-making: the Australian Experience and Possible Lessons for Canada” in Laverne Jacobs & Sasha Baglay, eds, The Nature of Inquisitorial Processes in Administrative Regimes – Global Perspectives (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2013).

Shauna Labman “Queue the Rhetoric: Refugees, Resettlement and Reform” (2011) 62 UNBLJ 55.

Amar Khoday, “Protecting Those Who Go Beyond The Law: Contemplating Refugee Status for Individuals Who Challenge Oppression Through Resistance” (2011) 25:3 Geo Immigr LJ 571.

Shauna Labman, “Looking Back, Moving Forward: The History and Future of Refugee Protection” (2010) 10 Chicago-Kent Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Shauna Labman, “Globalizing Rights and Going Wrong: Finding the ‘Right’ Path to Refugee Protection” (2009) 5:2 Journal of International Law and International Relations 141.

Gerald Heckman,”Canada’s Refugee Status Determination System and the International Norm of Independence” (2008) 25:2 Refuge 79.

Shauna Labman, “Resettlement’s Renaissance: A Cautionary Advocacy” (2007) 24:2 Refuge 35.

Gerald Heckman, “Procedural Safeguards in Deportation Proceedings – Developments in International Law” (2005) VII(3) Regulatory Boards and Administrative Law Litigation 418.

Gerald Heckman, “International Law and Procedural Safeguards in Deportation Proceedings: Ahani v. Canada” (2004) 17:2 RQDI 81.

Gerald Heckman, “Securing Procedural Standards for Asylum Seekers in Canadian Law: An Expanding Role for International Human Rights Law?” (2003) 15:2 Int’l J Refugee L 212.

Shauna Labman, “Left in Legal Limbo: Transsexual Identity and the Law” (2001) 7 Appeal 66.

Doctoral Dissertations

Amar Khoday, “Legitimizing Resistance? International Refugee Law and the Protection of Individuals Resisting Oppression” (DCL Thesis, McGill University Faculty of Law, 2013) (unpublished).

Shauna Labman, “At Law’s Border: Unsettling Refugee Settlement” (PhD Dissertation, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, 2012) {unpublished).

Gerald Heckman, “Prospects For Narrowing The Gap Between Domestic and International Institutional and Procedural Safeguards in Canadian, American, and Australian Refugee Protection Decisionmaking” (PhD Dissertation, York University Osgoode Hall Law School, 2008) (unpublished).

Conferences and Public Engagements

Amar Khoday, “’Homicide Is Foreign To Our Experience of Political Conflict’: Interrogating Judicial Constructions of the History of Political Violence in Refugee and Extradition Cases.” Presentation at the University of Manitoba’s Institute for the Humanities’ symposium – Alternate Histories, Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 7, 2018.

Amar Khoday, “No Excuses: Should Asylum Seekers Be Barred From Accessing Refugee Status When Compelled to Provide ‘Material Support’ To Terrorist Organizations?” Presentation at the J.W. Dafoe Political Studies Students’ Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, January 24-26, 2018.

Amar Khoday, “Re-Thinking Article 1F(a) and the Exclusion of Imperfect Soldiers.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Law and Society Association, Calgary, Alberta, May 28-30, 2016.

Amar Khoday, “Re-Thinking Article 1F(a) and the Exclusion of Imperfect Soldiers.” Paper presented at the 9th annual conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 11-14, 2016.   

Amar Khoday, “Re-Thinking Article 1F(a) and the Exclusion of Imperfect Soldiers.” Paper presented at the annual conference of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Justice Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 9-11, 2016.   

Gerald Heckman, “Revisiting the application of section 7 in immigration and refugee law.” Presentation at the 10th annual conference of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, Toronto, Ontario, March 21, 2016.

Amar Khoday, “Rethinking Boundaries: Expanding the Definition of ‘Political’ in Refugee Law.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Law and Society Association, Ottawa, Ontario, June 3-5, 2015.

Amar Khoday, “Relationship of Refugee Law and International Humanitarian Law.” Presentation at the inaugural ICRC (Winnipeg) conference in International Humanitarian Law, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 12, 2013.

Amar Khoday, “Resisters, Terrorists, and the Political Crimes Exception.” Paper presented at the joint annual meeting of the Law and Society Association and Canadian Law and Society Association, Honolulu, USA, June 5-8, 2012.

Amar Khoday, “Valorizing Disobedience Within The Ranks: Law and Resistance in Popular Culture.” Paper presented at the Law presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, San Francisco, USA, June 2-5, 2011.



Shauna Labman, “8 months after Alan Kurdi’s body found, refugees the focus of Winnipeg events” CBC News (2 May 2016).

Shauna Labman, “Refugee Program Should Not be Privatized” Winnipeg Free Press (9 October 2015).

Sean Rehaag, Sharryn Aiken, Francois Crepeau, Catherine Dauvergne, Donald Galloway, Gerald Heckman, Nicole LaViolette and Audrey Macklin, “Legislation won’t stop asylum seekers using human smugglers” , Edmonton Journal (2 November 2010).

Shauna Labman, “Refocus Concern for Refugees” Winnipeg Free Press (12 August 2009) A11.


Shauna Labman, Interview for “UofM, UMSU Sponsor Syrian Refugees” Shreya Ghimire, The Manitoban (19 January 2016).

Shauna Labman, Interview for “Prioritization is not Exclusion, Say Experts” Florence Hwang, New Canadian Media (29 November 2015).

Shauna Labman, Interview for “Compassion by the Book”, Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press, (1 October 2015).


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