How many Judicial Reviews?

One of the confusing aspects of a judicial review practice is determining how many applications are needed.

In Chambers v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), for example, the applicant filed one judicial review to seek review of i) an immigration Officer’s decision to prepare a report pursuant to subsection 44(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA“) to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness’ delegate, (ii) the decision of the Minister’s delegate pursuant subsection 44(2) of the IRPA to refer the applicant, to an admissibility hearing before the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and (iii) the decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board to order the applicant’s removal from Canada.

The Department of Justice argued that this was improper. However, Justice Bell disagreed, writing that:

The Applicant counters that this same issue was raised in Clare v Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, 2016 FC 545, [2016] FCJ no 513 [Clare]. In Clare, O’Reilly, J. disagreed with the Minister’s contention. He concluded that, “[w]hile it was open to Mr. Clare to seek judicial review of those other decisions, it was not necessary to do so in order to challenge the [Immigration Division’s] decision on admissibility”. While O’Reilly, J. acknowledged that in some cases applicants had challenged multiple decisions through separate applications, he did not interpret them as “requiring applicants to do so in order to challenge the ID’s decision on admissibility”.

Mr. Chambers contends this issue has already been disposed of by the judge who granted leave. I agree. Leave was granted on the application as filed, without any limitation. The question is therefore moot. However, by way of obiter, I would state that I agree with the approach adopted by O’Reilly, J. in Clare. Only one application for judicial review of the three section 44 decisions is necessary, because an applicant will not know of the need to challenge the decisions until a removal order has been made by the ID. Also, one application results in significant savings in time, litigation costs and judicial resources.


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