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asylum-seeker rights, freedom of movement


This chapter has a modest goal: to track some legislative changes since 9/11 which impact on two rights of asylum-seekers where those changes are linked to or justified by security concerns. These are the rights of asylum-seekers to have their claim determined, and to not be detained. This article identifies how legislation restricting these key rights of asylum-seekers has largely been promoted as necessary for Canada to be able to protect its public from criminality and security threats. The article thus queries whether measures, especially those introduced under Bill C-11, The Balanced Refugee Reform Act and those proposed under Bill C-4, Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, actually enable greater security. It concludes that some of the legislative changes have no clear connection with enhancing security, and may result in incentives for asylum-seekers to avoid making their presence known to officials, thus creating new security concerns. The paper concludes by finding that some of the proposed legislative measures regarding detention will likely not withstand a Charter challenge.

Publication Abbreviation

Rev Const Stud