Program Feature: Intersection of Immigration and Criminal Law

Intersection of Immigration and Criminal Law

Criminal issues often arise in immigration and refugee matters and vice versa. Join us in Edmonton (February 2) or Calgary (February 9) for Intersection of Immigration and Criminal Law. Learn how to competently advise clients when immigration, refugee, and criminal law matters intersect.



Examine practice issues arising in the intersection of immigration and criminal law. Hear from an experienced panel from across the province, a member of the judiciary, and one of Western Canada’s leading practitioners of immigration and criminal law, Peter Edelmann, on practice issues relevant to all lawyers working in this complex area.

Consider practice issues such as how to instruct clients on the immigration consequences of entering guilty pleas. Explore criminal inadmissibility under Division 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [IRPA], the cross-border consequences of criminal convictions, and practice tips you can use from the moment your client walks in the door to the sentencing phase.

Click here to view the program brochure and learn more.

Q & A

We recently spoke with program chair, Bjorn Harsanyi to learn a bit more about this program. Here’s what he had to say.

What topics will be covered?

There will be many topics covered, including properly interviewing and instructing your client regarding immigration consequences in criminal matters, criminal charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, collateral immigration consequences at sentencing, withdrawal of guilty pleas where clients are not fully informed of immigration consequences, and generally speaking, the evolving seriousness and complexity of these issues.”

Why are these topics important?

21.9% of Canadians are immigrants—the highest percentage in 85 years. This is an area of growing complexity involving past and ongoing litigation before the Supreme Court. The consequences for both the client and the lawyer being fully informed on these issues could not be any more important or serious. A failure to be alert and alive to these issues can result in serious prejudice to the client and potential negligence issues for the advising lawyer.”

What makes this program unique?

This program is unique due to the panel that is involved. The presenting panel is comprised of a member of the judiciary and experts from both criminal and immigration law, including Peter Edelman (a leading practitioner in the practice of criminal and immigration law). He recently successfully argued that a Conditional Sentence Order is not jail for the purpose of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (a really big deal). I have never been part of a more knowledgeable and expert panel. It is rare to see this many senior and expert practitioners speak in one panel, and they will be available for the whole day.”



Bjorn Harsanyi | Stewart Sharma Harsanyi | Calgary


In March 2017, Peter Edelmann and Erica Olmstead, of Edelmann & Co. Law Offices, were granted leave to appear at the SCC on Wing Wha Wong v. Her Majesty The Queen. They will argue before the SCC in November, seeking clarification on the testing required for withdrawing a guilty plea, and specifically, whether or not understanding collateral immigration consequences renders the plea invalid.


Register for Intersection of Immigration and Criminal Law online to attend in Edmonton (February 2) or Calgary (February 9). View the brochure for details.

Register on or before December 19 to take advantage of our early bird pricing.

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