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Vol 25 No 1 Jan/Feb 2020

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Refugee Law's Fact-Finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake

ISBN13: 9781108448086
Published: August 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2018)
Price: £21.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9781108427074

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At a time when many around the world are fleeing their homes, seeking refugee protection has become a game of chance. Partly to blame is the law that governs how refugee status decision-makers resolve their doubts.

This long-neglected branch of refugee law has been growing in the dark, with little guidance from the Refugee Convention and little attention from scholars. By looking closely at the Canadian jurisprudence, Hilary Evans Cameron provides the first full account of what this law is trying to accomplish in a refugee hearing.

She demonstrates how a hole in the law's normative foundations is contributing to the dysfunction of one the world's most respected refugee determination systems, and may well be undermining refugee protection across the globe. The author uses her findings to propose a new legal model of refugee status decision-making.

Immigration, Asylum, Refugee and Nationality Law
Part I. Introduction:
1. The wrong mistake
1.1. The traditional economic approach
1.2. A psychologically founded theory
1.3. A comparative study
1.4. Conclusion

Part II:
2. Setting the scene
2.1. At the refugee board
2.2. At the Federal Court
2.3. The case study: method and findings
3. The wrong mistake: sending a refugee home
3.1. Wrongly disbelieving the claimant
3.2. Overlooking objective danger
3.3. Denying claims on procedural grounds
3.4. Conclusion
4. Resolving doubt in the claimant's favour
4.1. The burden of Proof
4.2. Standards of proof
4.3. Presumption of truthfulness
4.4. Conclusion
5. The wrong mistake: accepting an unfounded claim
5.1. Refugee claimants are ordinary litigants
5.2. The member is an ordinary decision-maker
5.2. Conclusion
6. Resolving doubt at the claimant's expense
6.1. The burden of proof
6.2. Standards of proof
6.3. Presumptions
6.4. Conclusion
7. In the hearing room:
7.1. Conflicting standards of proof
7.2. Permissible inferences: rational action and memory
7.3. Conclusion

Part III:
8. A way forward
8.1. The wrong mistake in international refugee law
8.2. The Karanakaran approach
8.3. Refugee status determination as an abductive risk assessment
8.4. Conclusion.