Saturday, July 12, 2008

Updated Interpretation of Convention Refugee Definition in Canadian Case Law

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, the federal government agency that hears refugee claims, has just updated its Interpretation of the Convention Refugee Definition in the Case Law.

According to the introduction:
"The interpretation of the Convention refugee definition is an ongoing process, of which the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), formerly the Convention Refugee Determination Division (CRDD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is a major player, it being the body in Canada which adjudicates claims in the first instance. Some issues have been settled by the Courts, others remain unanswered. One of the difficulties in summarizing the basic principles in this area of the law is that many of the Court decisions are fact specific and do not establish general principles of law. We have also identified those areas in which the case law is
conflicting or unsettled."

"In this paper, we have attempted to identify those principles of law which are settled and to indicate how the Courts have applied those principles to some particular situations. In reading the cases themselves, we caution keeping in mind the need to distinguish between a case that sets out a legal principle and a case that applies the law to particular facts."

"Reference will be made to the decisions of the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Canada which interpret the Convention refugee definition. Foreign case law and CRDD decisions are not generally included in this paper. Where applicable, reference is also made to the UNHCR Handbook, and to the relevant IRB Legal Services Commentaries, Preferred Position Papers and Chairperson’s Guidelines issued by the IRB."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:01 pm


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