Efrat Arbel

Associate Professor
J.D. (UBC); LL.M, SJD (Harvard Law School)
Faculty of Law

Efrat Arbel is Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law. She publishes and teaches in refugee law, prison law, constitutional law, and tort law. Her primary research examines how legal rights are negotiated and defined in liminal legal spaces like the border, the detention center, and the prison.
Prior to joining the Allard School of Law, Dr. Arbel completed her masters and doctoral studies at Harvard Law School, where she was recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, and was Canada Research Fellow with the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs. She held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of British Columbia between 2012-2014, with visiting terms at the Oxford Center for Criminology (2013) and the European University Institute (2014).
Combining her academic work with legal practice, Dr. Arbel is engaged in advocacy and litigation involving refugee and prisoner rights. She has delivered expert testimony before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and provides expert opinions for, and engages in consultation with, various government agencies. Dr. Arbel has served on subcommittees with Westcoast LEAF and on the executive of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers. She is also a frequent media commentator on refugee and prison issues, and has been cited by numerous media outlets, including The Globe and Mail, National Post, and The New York Times.
Dr. Arbel is affiliated with UBC Migration, the newly launched Research Excellence Cluster at the University of British Columbia.


Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Solutions, Efrat Arbel, 2020

Efrat Arbel
Wall Solutions
Immigration Detention in the Age of Covid-19: Moving Towards Rights Protection

This project will produce the first comprehensive evaluation of Canada’s response to COVID-19 in immigration detention. Co-investigator Molly Joeck and I will gather and analyze all relevant legal decisions involving COVID-19 and detention issued since the onset of the pandemic, to map how Canadian legal actors have responded to COVID-19 as it relates to immigration detention. The project will produce a comprehensive report that identifies strengths and problem areas, and develops solution-oriented law reform proposals to ensure meaningful human rights protection for vulnerable detainees. The work will span the period of July-December 2020.