The McLaughlin College Lunch Talk series presents a ‘double serving,’ Oct. 7

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics during the popular Lunch Talks Series. The long-running series continues this year in a virtual format via Zoom.

Students who attend six or more Lunch Talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

There are two Zoom events running on Oct. 7:

Terrorism and Asylum – An Online European Book Launch – 10 to 11:30 a.m.

James Simeon
James Simeon

Terrorism and Asylum, edited by York Professor James C. Simeon, explores terrorism and asylum in all its interrelated and variable aspects, and permutations. The critical role terrorism plays as a driver in forced displacement, within the context of protracted armed conflict and extreme political violence, is analyzed. Exclusion from refugee protection for the alleged commission of terrorist activities is thoroughly interrogated. Populist politicians’ blatant use of the “fear of terrorism” to further their public policy security agenda and to limit access to refugee protection is scrutinized. The principal issues and concerns regarding terrorism and asylum and how these might be addressed, in the public interest while, at the same time, protecting and advancing the human rights and dignity of everyone are offered.

Registration link:

Justice for Syria in German Courts – 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Balkees Jarrah

This event is presented by Balkees Jarrah, an associate director in the International Justice Program where she focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region. Victims of crimes around the world have increasingly looked to European courts in the hopes of seeing some accountability. The trial of two alleged former Syrian intelligence officials implicated in serious abuses in Syria’s prisons started April 23 in the German city of Koblenz. It’s a hugely significant moment – the first criminal trial in the world involving state-sponsored torture in Syria. The Koblenz case stands out because it will be the first time a former higher-level Syrian official is prosecuted on charges that more fully reflect the breadth of abuses and the type of brutal criminality committed in Syria over the last decade. This is a rare piece of good news in the international justice world, and particularly in the Middle East region. This is a presentation on the trial’s significance, behind the scenes work to promote these types of cases, and what we can expect going forward.

Jarrah is a former law clerk at the Federal Court of Canada and has worked at the Brookings Institution supporting the mandate of the special representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons. She holds degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University and a Masters from the University of Oxford.

Registration link: