The Serious International Crimes, Human Rights and Forced Migration Symposium commenced with a collaboration between Professor Dr. Elies van Sliedregt, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, and Dr. James C. Simeon, Association Professor, Head of McLaughlin College, York University, Canada. Common research interests in International Criminal Law and Forced Migration, and, specifically, on the issue of exclusion from refugee protection, led to a collaboration on various research grant applications and publication projects that led simultaneously to the idea of holding a symposium to study the interrelated and interactive affects of protracted armed conflict, severe breaches to a person's most fundamental human rights, and serious criminality, and, their attendant consequences for forced migration. It was agreed that a symposium could be a highly constructive way to examine these significant and pressing subject areas in a more thoroughly, comprehensive and detailed manner. Accordingly, our ongoing discussions and consultations led us to consider organizing an international symposium that would include a number of senior legal scholars, practitioners, including jurists, at the national, regional, and international levels, along with other researchers and advocates who are working in this field and on these areas of national, transnational and international law. An international symposium would provide an appropriate forum for examining and analyzing these interdisciplinary and legal issues and concerns to try to develop and to generate new ideas, perspectives, and approaches in an effort to try to address these exceedingly difficult and highly complex fields of public policy and law.
We are very grateful for the support and assistance of the respective Faculties of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), and its McLaughlin College, mandated to assess critically public policy for the advancement and the betterment of society, and Osgoode Hall Law School, and its Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, and for their co-sponsorship of our Symposium. We are also very grateful to all those who agreed to participate in this Symposium with us, especially, leading members of the judiciary.