Crime, Immigration & Surveillance Workshop @ Queen’s Nov 7 & 8, 2013

This workshop brings together experts on criminal law and theory, migration law and surveillance studies from a variety of traditions and jurisdictions. This workshop is open to faculty and students of Queen’s University. However, space is limited and advance registration is required.

If you wish to attend, please register with Megan Hamilton by Friday Nov. 1.

In the global north, immigration and citizenship issues have become increasingly prominent in debates about the expansion of the criminal law and surveillance. Criminal sanctions - whether or not they are formally deemed to be ‘criminal’ - are used more frequently than ever before to deal with matters that once were matters of ordinary administrative action. Human smuggling and trafficking, frequently conflated in popular discourse, are increasingly identified by governments as among the most dangerous of crimes, with offenders facing the prospect of life imprisonment. Investigative/intelligence agencies have intensified their surveillance activities of ‘foreign’ persons and organizations within their own borders and beyond. And immigration measures – particularly detention and deportation – are used much more commonly in response to suspected criminal activity than ever before. Hence the concept of ‘crimmigration’ that draws these disciplinary fields together to examine these interwoven trends.

This workshop seeks to bring together experts on criminal law and theory, migration law and surveillance studies from a variety of traditions and jurisdictions to consider the emerging issues at the intersection of these fields.

Some of the lessons to be drawn will address principles: is unauthorized presence in a country a proper object for criminalization, and criminal or quasi-criminal investigative techniques? Other lessons will be comparative in nature: do American and European surveillance systems aimed at legal and ‘illegal’ migrants, based on quite different conceptions of privacy or data protection, or of citizenship and human rights, have something to learn from each other? How does social sorting occur at the border? And some of the lessons will be very practical, promoting awareness amongst scholars and policymakers of the developments in related fields: what surveillance strategies are being used to deal with ‘perimeter security’? What new legal regimes are being put in place to criminalize various categories of migrants? What constitutional or human rights challenges have been launched in response?

Co- sponsored by the Faculty of Law, Canada Research Chair in Crime, Security & Constitutionalism, and the Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen’s University