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School of Law

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Medical Evidence in Refugee Status Determination

When: Monday, June 24, 2024, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Where: Online / Colette Bowes and Martin Harris Rooms, Queen's Building 327 Mile End Road London E1 4NS

Medical evidence whether in the form of a medico-legal report or other formats, documenting the physical and/or mental health of those seeking asylum is increasingly being used within refugee status determination proceedings as evidence to support asylum claims. This interdisciplinary workshop sponsored by both the Human Rights Law Centre and the (B)Orders Centre for the Legal Study of Borders, Migration and Displacement ,chaired by Professor Elspeth Guild and organised by Hasna Sheikh, brings together researchers, clinicians working with non-governmental organisations responsible for evaluating and assessing victims of torture, and lawyers representing asylum applicants.

The purpose of this interdisciplinary workshop is to facilitate a better understanding of how the different actors involved in the asylum decision-making process work alongside each other. The workshop seeks to determine the purpose of medical evidence in asylum claims, how such evidence is identified and documented by clinicians and how it is assessed by asylum authorities when determining refugee status.

The workshop will consist of two panels which are detailed below.

Panel 1: The various actors involved in refugee status determination and the multi-faceted nature of the asylum decision-making process.

Panel 2: Identifying, documenting, and evaluating medical evidence in refugee status determination - what does medical evidence consist of, whose responsibility is it to provide, and how is this evidence prepared by clinicians and assessed by asylum decision-makers.

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Elspeth Guild and will feature the following speakers.

  • Professor Cornelius Katona: Honorary Medical and Research Director at the Helen Bamber Foundation
  • Connie Hodgkinson-Lahiff: PhD Candidate in Law at the University of East Anglia
  • Professor Amina Memon: Professor of Psychology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law at Royal Holloway University of London
  • Dr Zoe Given-Wilson: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology and Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law at Royal Holloway University of London
  • Adrian Berry: Barrister at Garden Court Chambers
  • Hasna Sheikh: PhD Candidate at Queen Mary University of London

Attendance is free but registration is required. Please note lunch and refreshments will be provided. The workshop will be followed by a drink’s reception from 6:00pm onwards.

About the Human Rights Law Centre

The Human Rights Law Centre was established to provide scholarly expertise, research and teaching on national and international human rights. It is based in the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Our aim is to focus on areas that are at the forefront of human rights to help contribute to its progressive development and to help benefit the community. Through investigation and research the we seek to prevent and remedy human rights violations and by providing pro bono legal advice our research is linked with the practical assistance offered by the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre. These rights include the rights of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community including socio-economic rights; rights of women; international child rights and the rights of other vulnerable groups.

About (B)OrderS Centre for the Legal Study of Borders, Migration and Displacement

Founded in 2022, the (B)Orders Centre focuses on the study of bordering, ordering and othering processes through law. It constitutes an excellence hub for intellectual collaboration and the evaluation of the role of law in the making and unmaking of borders and their impact on global (im)mobility. It connects scholars within and beyond Queen Mary Law School to harness existing inter- and multi-disciplinary research into law, borders and (im)mobility and shape future policy and research agendas in response to global challenges.

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