The IRB is a specialized tribunal dealing with immigration matters. By definition such tribunals tend to be less formal than Courts both in form and substance.
When a person has exhausted all their appeal rights before the IRB, such individuals may seek a Judicial Review of their decision at the Federal Court of Canada. The Federal Court has specific procedures tailored for immigration matters. Typically, the Judicial Review involves a “paper” application where counsel seeks “leave” or the Court’s permission to have the tribunal decision reviewed. If the Court grants leave, a date is set when a lawyer from Levine Associates appears at the Court on behalf of the applicant or claimant. The Judicial Review is in most cases limited to a review of the evidence which was before the tribunal. Furthermore, the Federal Court does not have jurisdiction to impose it’s own decision but is instead limited to deciding whether there was a reviewable error. Where the Court is satisfied that the error was sufficient to warrant the Court’s intervention, the Court will remit the case back for a re hearing. Unlike the IAD, Federal Court judges do not have the authority to impose their own decisions.
When one considers that the Federal Court typically grants leave in only about 10-20% of cases and then not all cases which gain leave ultimately succeed, it is clear that the Federal Court process is difficult and anything but guaranteed.