Unappealing: An Assessment of the Limits on Appeal Rights in Canada's New Refugee Determination System

72 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2015 Last revised: 4 Jul 2016

See all articles by Angus Gavin Grant

Angus Gavin Grant

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Sean Rehaag

Centre for Refugee Studies & Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Date Written: August 19, 2015

Abstract

Canada’s refugee determination system was revised in 2012. One key feature of the new process is a quasi-judicial administrative appeal, on matters of both fact and law, at the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Under the new process, however, many claimants are denied access to the RAD.

This article assesses these limits on access to the RAD, drawing mostly on quantitative data obtained from the IRB and Citizenship and Immigration Canada through access to information requests. Our aim is to provide evidence-based analysis and recommendations for reform. Essentially, our conclusions are that the bars on access to the RAD are arbitrary and dangerous, and that the system should be reformed to provide access to the RAD for all refugee claimants.

The article proceeds in two parts. First, we set out the context for our research, explaining why access to the RAD matters. Specifically, we discuss the history of the RAD, explain how the process works, explore the difference between the appeal and judicial review, and overview the results from the revised system’s first two years of operation. Next, we examine in detail each of the bars on access to the RAD for claimants whose applications were refused at first-instance. The article ends by setting out our conclusions.

Keywords: Refugee Law, Administrative Law, Canada, Empirical Legal Studies

Suggested Citation

Grant, Angus Gavin and Rehaag, Sean, Unappealing: An Assessment of the Limits on Appeal Rights in Canada's New Refugee Determination System (August 19, 2015). (2016) 49:1 UBC Law Review 203; Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 42/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2647638

Angus Gavin Grant

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Sean Rehaag (Contact Author)

Centre for Refugee Studies & Osgoode Hall Law School, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/rehaag-sean/

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