Legal Tech for Refugee Lawyers

Refugee law involves extraordinarily high stakes. If claimants are not properly recognized as refugees, they risk deportation to face persecution, torture, or even death. It is, accordingly, crucial that refugee claimants and their advocates be appropriately equipped to make the most compelling case possible that they meet the refugee definition. It is also important that legal scholars studying refugee decision-making have access to cutting edge technologies to better understand and to help improve decision-making in this field. Unfortunately, scholars and advocates are currently at a serious technological disadvantage. The Canadian government is in the process of purchasing and deploying legal analytics and artificial intelligence technologies developed by for-profit corporations to assist in decision-making and litigation in this field. However, refugee claimants, lawyers and organizations advocating on their behalves, and scholars studying refugee adjudication do not currently have access to similar technologies. This project aims to even the playing field. It will do so by developing technologies that counter this power imbalance and by making the technologies, and scholarly research on the technologies and on their human rights implications, available in open-access formats.

We are at the stage of applying for grants to develop these technologies – including an app that would assist lawyers visualize and navigate refugee law adjudication data during hearings.

If you are interested in helping us develop these technologies, please reach out to