Canadian Refugee Procedure
There are many books about the substance of refugee law, in Canada and internationally. They cover subjects such as what it means to have a well-founded fear of persecution and when a claimant has access to adequate state protection. This is not one of them. This is a book about the legal processes involved in claiming refugee status in Canada, focusing particularly on the Refugee Protection Division Rules of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Tens of thousands of people file a claim for refugee protection in Canada every year. The ensuing process that they navigate is governed by the set of laws described herein.
Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice
- Principles for the interpretation of refugee procedure
- The right to a hearing and the right to be heard
- The Board's inquisitorial mandate
- The right to a fair hearing
- The right to an independent decision-maker
- The right to an unbiased decision-maker
- Appropriate decorum and propriety at a refugee hearing
Annotated Refugee Protection Division Rules
- Interpretation and Definitions (Rule 1)
- Communicating with the Division (Rule 2)
- Information and Documents to be Provided (Rules 3-13). This section discusses the process for initially scheduling a hearing, the conduct of a hearing, the order of proceedings, and the information to be provided in advance of a hearing.
- Rule 7 - How to provide the BOC form and what documents are to be provided with it
- Rule 8 - Application for an extension of time to provide BOC form
- Rule 10 - Order of questioning and requirement to provide oral representations and decisions
- Rule 11 - Documents Establishing Identity and Other Elements of the Claim
- Counsel of Record (Rules 14-16). This section discusses the process to appoint and remove counsel and the way that deficiencies in counsel's conduct are attributed to their client.
- Language of Proceedings (Rules 17-18)
- Interpreters (Rule 19)
- Designated Representatives (Rule 20)
- Disclosure of Personal Information (Rule 21)
- Specialized Knowledge (Rule 22)
- Allowing a Claim Without a Hearing (Rule 23)
- Conferences (Rule 24)
- Notice to Appear (Rule 25)
- Exclusion, Integrity Issues, Inadmissibility and Ineligibility (Rules 26-28)
- Intervention by the Minister (Rule 29)
- Claimant or Protected Person in Custody (Rule 30). The rules regarding the presence of those who have been detained.
- Documents (Rules 31-43)
- Rule 31 - How to provide documents. Concerns the format of, numbering of, and creation of lists of documents.
- Rule 32 - Language of Documents
- Rule 34 - Obligation, process, and timeline for a party to disclose documents they want to use in a hearing
- Rule 35 - Documents relevant and not duplicate (incl. voluminous disclosure)
- Rule 36 - Use of undisclosed or late documents
- Rule 43 - Additional documents provided after a hearing
- Witnesses (Rules 44-48)
- Applications (Rules 49-52)
- Changing the Location of a Proceeding (Rule 53)
- Changing the Date or Time of a Proceeding (Rule 54)
- Joining or Separating Claims or Applications (Rules 55-56)
- Proceedings Conducted in Public (Rule 57)
- Observers (Rule 58)
- Withdrawal (Rule 59)
- Reinstating a Withdrawn Claim or Application (Rules 60-61)
- Reopening a Claim or Application (Rules 62-63)
- Applications to Vacate or to Cease Refugee Protection (Rule 64)
- Abandonment (Rule 65)
- Notice of Constitutional Question (Rule 66)
- Decisions (Rules 67-68). Discusses rules for panels of a single member and three-member panels.
- General Provisions (Rules 69-71). These provisions govern what the Refugee Protection Division should do when there is no applicable rule to govern a matter, the process by which the Division may deviate from these rules, and the import of failing to follow the rules.
- Coming into Force (Rule 74)
Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) Provisions
- Section 13: Regulations Regarding Documents and Certified Copies
- Section 13.11: Regulations Regarding Disclosure of Personal Information
- Section 315.21, et al.: Regulations Regarding Information Sharing Between Countries
- Section 159-159.7: Regulations Regarding Eligibility to Claim and Safe Third Countries
- Section 159.8: Regulations Regarding Time Limits for Providing Documents
- Section 159.9: Regulations Regarding Time Limits for Holding Hearings
Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) Provisions
- Summary of provisions of the IRPA concerning refugees
- Sections 2 and 3: Objectives and application of the IRPA
- Provisions applicable to all Divisions:
- Section 162: The jurisdiction of the Board and its obligation to proceed quickly and informally.
- Section 163: Composition of Panels. When panels have one or three members.
- Section 164: Presence of parties and use of telecommunications for hearings
- Section 165: Powers of each Division and each Member. This describes the powers of the Divisions and the Board Members, including those provided by the Inquiries Act.
- Section 166: Proceedings must be held in the absence of the public. Provisions of the Act and privacy and confidentiality of RPD proceedings.
- Section 167: Right to counsel and representation by a designated representative.
- Section 169: Decisions and Reasons. When the Board must provide written reasons.
- Provisions specific to the Refugee Protection Division:
- Section 169.1: Composition.
- Section 170: Proceedings. How the RPD is to approach proceedings before it, including with respect to evidence, holding hearings, and providing notice to the Minister.
- Section 170.2: No reopening of claim or application
- Guideline 4 - Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution
- Guideline 8 - Concerning Procedures with Respect to Vulnerable Persons Appearing Before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada