Anneke Smit

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies (Acting)


Anneke Smit is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law. Prior to joining Windsor Law she held a Lectureship at the School of Law, University of Reading (UK), where she also completed her PhD. Dr. Smit has held visiting positions at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law; Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre, and the Faculté de Droit, Université d'Aix-Marseille.  

Dr. Smit has worked with the immigration and refugee law section of the Canadian Department of Justice, with international and non-governmental human rights organisations in the Balkans and the South Caucasus, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and as a consultant with UNHCR Europe and the European Resettlement Network (her recent consultancy paper for UNHCR/ERN+, on higher education scholarships as pathways to refugee protection in Europe, is available here).

Her research focusses broadly on refugee law and policy, and land use planning and property law (both in Canada and in the post-conflict sphere).  Her publications include The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution (Routledge, 2012), co-editor of Public Interest, Private Property: Law and Planning Policy in Canada (UBC Press, 2016), and co-author of A Guide to International Law Careers, 2nd ed. (British Institute for International and Comparative Law, 2015).  From 2009 to 2013 she was an advisor on property law to the Jerusalem Old City Initiative (JOCI). Dr. Smit is a frequent commentator in English and French-language media on urban planning issues and refugee law and policy. 

Dr. Smit is the founder and coordinator of the Windsor chapter of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Programme (RefugeeSSP), which matches lawyers with private refugee sponsorship groups to provide pro bono legal assistance through the sponsorship application process.  She is also a founding member of the national steering committee of the Scholars at Risk network.  

She is the recipient of a 2016 Windsor Law Students Law Society (SLS) Faculty Award, the 2017 Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership Welcoming Communities Award, and the 2017 University of Windsor Alumni Association Excellent in Mentoring Award.  She is a former recipient of a UWindsor Humanities Research Group Fellowship, and was a Wingate scholar.

In 2018-19 Dr. Smit will teach the International Law of Refugees and Forced Migration, Municipal Law, and the LLM Graduate Seminar.  She welcomes inquiries from potential Master of Laws (LLM) students with research interests in refugee law, urban planning law, and/or property law and theory.