Efrat A. Arbel

Assistant Professor

B.A (McGill); J.D. (UBC); LL.M, SJD (Harvard Law School)

Office: Allard Hall, room 348
Phone: 604.822.6287
Email: arbel@allard.ubc.ca


Efrat Arbel is Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law.  Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Arbel was awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which she held at UBC between 2012-2014.  During that time, she also held visiting appointments at the Oxford University Centre for Criminology (2013) and the European University Institute (2014).

Dr. Arbel earned her doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2012, where she was a Canada Research Fellow with Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, a Doctoral Fellow with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, a Graduate Fellow with the Law Foundation of BC, and a Travelling Fellow with the Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarship Foundation. She holds a BA from McGill University, a JD from UBC, and completed her LLM studies at Harvard Law School before proceeding with her doctorate.  Throughout her graduate studies, Dr. Arbel held positions as a teaching and research fellow at Harvard Law School; as a research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government; and as a researcher with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Law Clinic.  Before pursuing graduate studies, she clerked at the British Columbia Supreme Court and worked in the Vancouver office of a national firm.

Dr. Arbel researches and publishes in constitutional law, refugee law, Aboriginal law, and prison law.  Combining her academic work with legal practice, Dr. Arbel is also engaged in advocacy and litigation involving refugee and prisoner rights. She has served on sub-committees with Westcoast LEAF, and is an executive member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.


  • Constitutional Law
  • Advanced Charter Law
  • Torts
  • Refugee Law

Representative Published Works

  • “Bordering the Constitution, Constituting the Border” 53:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal (forthcoming)
  • ‘Between Protection and Punishment: The Irregular Arrival Regime in Canadian Refugee Law’ in K. Reiter and A. Koenig (eds) Extreme Punishment: Comparative Studies in Detention, Incarceration, and Solitary Confinement (Palgrave, 2015)
  • ‘Contesting Unmodulated Deprivation: Sauvé v Canada and the Normative Limits of Punishment’ (2015) 4(1) Canadian Journal of Human Rights 121
  • 'Gendered Border Crossings' in E. Arbel, C. Dauvergne, and J. Millbank (eds) Gender in Refugee Law: from the Margins to the Centre (Routledge, 2014)
  • Bordering on Failure: Canada-U.S. Border Policy and the Politics of Refugee Exclusion (with Alletta Brenner) Harvard Immigration and Refugee Law Clinical Program, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA: 2013)
  • 'The Culture of Rights Protection in Canadian Refugee Law: Examining the Domestic Violence Cases' (2013) 58(3) McGill Law Journal 729
  • 'Shifting Borders and the Boundaries of Rights: Examining the Safe Third Country Agreement Between Canada and the United States' (2013) 25(1) International Journal of Refugee Law 65

For Professor Arbel's publications available on SSRN, go here: http://ssrn.com/author=1124948

Selected publications are also listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database.