2017 News

December 31, 2017 by CrimSL Communications

Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies on the Travel Ban

The Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies joins with other members of the University Community in denouncing US President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning the entry of resettled refugees and nationals of seven Muslim majority states. Our scholarly interest in revealing discourses and practices of criminalization, discrimination, stigmatization and securitization is coupled with practical commitment to naming and opposing injustice. The Executive Order’s criminalization of refugees, its vilification of migrants on the basis of national origin and faith community, and the arbitrary abuse of authority entailed by its implementation, each and all exhibit contempt for human rights and the rule of law.

The Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies will continue to work with and across the University to find ways to mitigate the damaging impact of the Executive Order for those directly and indirectly affected. As Canadian scholars with strong links to the United States, we wish to express our solidarity with our American colleagues who are protesting this Executive Order, and with those students and faculty who are directly and indirectly its victims. The Executive Order gravely threatens the vitality of the US academy. Mindful of the destructive effect of this travel ban on international scholarly interaction, we offer US-based professional associations with which many of us are affiliated (including the Law and Society Association and the American Society for Criminology), our assistance and support in relocating conferences and workshops outside the United States, in order that all invited participants be able to attend.

February 8, 2017

Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic announced today that it has delivered a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Minister Hussen urging the Canadian government to recognize that the United States is not presently a safe country for asylum seekers to obtain refugee protection. The letter is supported by a report that explains how three recent Executive Orders issued by President Trump put asylum seekers in the United States at heightened risk of human rights abuses and removal to countries where they face persecution.
Centre Director Audrey Macklin is among a group of law professors who co-authored an PDF iconLettre-Letter.pdf open letter to the Canadian government, signed by 240 colleagues, calling on Canada to halt enforcement of the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. She is one of the Canadian law professors who have issued a PDF iconmedia release calling on the Canadian government to halt enforcement of the Safe Third Country Agreement in light of the Harvard report.

Forum on Race, Policing & Black Lives Matter


by Julius Haag, Centre PhD candidate

On October 14, 2016, the Centre hosted a public forum entitled Race, Policing and Black Lives Matter. The event, organized by Prof. Honor Brabazon of the Centre, brought together a compelling group of presenters, including Marques Banks, from the Black Movement-Law Project, Anthony Morgan, a human rights and public interest lawyer, Prof. Idil Abdillahi, a professor of social work at Ryerson University, and Ravyn Wngz, a member of Black Lives Matter Toronto. The event was moderated by Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah of UTM. The presentations explored the growth and genesis of Black Lives Matter Toronto, the role of law and lawyers in the ongoing struggle for black lives, the crisis of racism and sanism facing black people in Toronto with mental health issues, and the urgent need for continued action to protect black lives and to eradicate anti-blackness in our society.

The presenters illustrated how racialized policing is part of a larger crisis facing racialized people. They demonstrated that the issues currently confronted by black people are not new, but the most recent iteration of centuries of oppression rooted in colonialism and slavery. Rayvn Wngz spoke of the importance of solidarity and collaboration between Black Lives Matter Toronto and other groups facing systemic oppression and marginalization, including Indigenous People in Canada. Anthony Morgan noted that this event took place almost 50 years to the day from the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California. He noted that, much like the Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter Toronto is a movement founded by young people who are fighting to advance important social justice issues.

The presentations were followed by a lively and engaging question period. The organizers also created a hashtag for the event, #CrimBLMForum, and encouraged participants and attendees to tweet about their experiences and impressions of the event.