Catherine Dauvergne works in the area of immigration and refugee law in Canada and around the world. Her research is grounded in a belief that how we define and police the boundaries of our societies determines the terrain of our political engagements and says much about our national identity. Border laws are a space of unabashed discrimination, where aspirations of nationhood are writ large.
Dauvergne is both a tactical lawyer and a big picture thinker, and her work shows a commitment to engagement at these scales. Her 2008 book Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law (Cambridge University Press) is read and taught across disciplines and has been reprinted three times. Dauvergne has co-directed a number of large empirical studies of refugee decision-making around the world and has published three other books and more than fifty articles, chapters, and law review pieces. She is regularly involved in pro-bono legal work for individuals and for refugee- and immigrant-serving organizations. She is also a frequent commentator on these issues for Canadian media. Dauvergne is currently completing a research project investigating the failure of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect non-citizens.
Catherine Dauvergne grew up in Edmonton. She studied law at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and clerked for Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. Dauvergne completed her PhD at the Australian National University and was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney for four years before returning to Canada. From 2002 to 2012, Dauvergne held the Canada Research Chair in Migration Law at UBC. Both as a student and as a scholar, Dauvergne has had an intellectual home at UBC's Centre for Feminist Legal Studies.