Canadian refugee decisions hinge on presiding judge, says report

Ottawa should rethink its plan to ban certain refugees from appeals in light of a new report that suggests asylum outcomes very much depend on which refugee judge presides on the case, says the study’s author.

York University law professor Sean Rehaag examined all 34,204 decisions made in 2011 by the 148 refugee judges appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board and found their approval rates varied from 0 to 100 per cent. The overall acceptance rate was 44.6 per cent.

“The evidence suggests that who decides on these cases has a significant impact on the outcomes. The luck of the draw is still at work,” said Rehaag, who released the report Monday.

While 11 asylum adjudicators had an acceptance rate 10 per cent or under, eight of their colleagues granted asylum to 90 per cent or more of the cases they heard.

Although refugee judges at both ends of the spectrum tended to have decided on very few cases, making their grant rates less relevant statistically, member Daniel McSweeney stood out.

Read the complete Toronto Star article


Posted in In the Media |

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