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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Refugee protection at the edges : exclusion for serious criminality in Canada since Febles Joeck, Molly Emilia Esbenshade

Abstract

This thesis examines the jurisprudence of the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada since the decision of the Supreme Court in Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), [2014] 3 SCR 431 in order to determine whether administrative decision makers are heeding the guidance of Febles when excluding asylum seekers from refugee protection on the basis of serious criminality pursuant to section 1F(b) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. In so doing, it examines the controversy around 1F(b) since its inception across various jurisdictions and amongst international commentators, situating Febles within that controversy in order to demonstrate that the Supreme Court’s reluctance to clearly set out the purpose underlying 1F(b) is in step with a long-standing tendency to understand the provision as serving a gatekeeping function, preventing criminalized noncitizens from obtaining membership in our society. It argues that by omitting to set out a clear and principled standard by which asylum seekers can be excluded from refugee protection pursuant to 1F(b), the Supreme Court failed to live up to a thick understanding of the rule of law. It concludes by calling for a reassertion of the rule of law into exclusion decision-making, both nationally and internationally, in order to ensure that the legitimacy of the international refugee law system is maintained.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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