Hilary Evans Cameron is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson Law. Prior to become a faculty member, Hilary represented refugee claimants for a decade. She is the author of Refugee Law’s Fact-finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake. Her paper on risk salience in refugee decisions that we discuss can be found here. She is also the creator of www.meetgary.ca, a website which provides guidance to both decision makers and asylum claimants on the implicit biases and thought processes that can influence decision makers. She provides training to the Immigration and Refugee Board on this topic.
3:00 The two strong pulls in the law of how a decision maker should make a decision in a refugee hearing that impacts risk salience.
7:00 Can a decision maker ever be truly neutral?
11:00 Does the fact that the refugee process starts with a removal order “set things up” for strict scrutiny? Plus how politicians can influence error preference.
18:30 Refugee acceptance rates have increased recently. Is this a result of new decision makers or the same decision makers applying different maxims. Can someone’s risk salience approach change over time?
22:00 The non legal things that can influence decision makers.
26:30 Studies on accuracy in credibility and how risk salience follows.
30:00 Should decision makers make their biases explicit?
36:30 What is the fear that people have of refugee claimants?
43:01 The illusion of transparency. “The idea that truth will shine through.”
44:30 The myth that a memory is like a video recording.
46:00 The myth that a refugee claimant will never take unnecessary risks.Read more ›
Chieu v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 SCC 3 was a landmark Supreme Court of Canada which affirmed the use of the Ribic factors in the H&C assessment. We discuss these factors and how they are used in immigration appeals.
1:00 – How the assessment of Humanitarian & Compassionate considerations has become somewhat nebulus.
4:00 – A case study of Chieu v. Canada
10:00 – What is an example of a negative country condition in someone’s country of citizenship?
13:00 – The decision and principles in Chieu.
15:00 – The Federal Court of Canada in Zhang v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 927, which seems to limit Chieu.
16:00 – The Ribic factors and the types of immigration appeals. 20:00 How much weight each factor should get.
25:00 – Stories about our appeals.
32:00 – The remorse factor and flexibility.
45:00 – The counter arguments to considering country of citizenship conditions.Read more ›
A discussion about responding to procedural fairness letters with digressions on possible bias against people from Punjab, unreasonable documentation requests, tunnel vision amongst visa officers, how if an officer goes out looking for misrepresentation in an application they will probably find it, aggressively banning people from Canada as a deterrance policy, IRCC misleading Parliament about whether it bounces applications for incompleteness and more.
Raj Sharma is a Partner at Stewart Sharma Harsanyi in Calgary.
2:30 When does IRCC have to send a procedural fairness letter vs. being able to refuse an application without one?
15:00 Specific issues with the Canadian visa offices in New Delhi and Chandigarh.
21:00 Racialized assessments of visa applications.
23:00 Why hunting for misrep can lead to misrep findings.
25:00 Misrepresentation as a deterrence policy.
35:00 Is there a specific focus on Punjabs?
44:00 Can you tell if someone is lying as soon as you meet them at the start of an interview?
46:00 Preet Bharara on investigations
50:00 When IRCC believes that a job is fake because no employer would wait as long as IRCC’s processing times to fill a position.
1:00 Procedural fairness letters in the citizenship revocation process.
1:06 Litigation as a way to achieve policy reform.
1:15 Procedural fairness and the bouncing of applications. » Read more about: Borderlines Podcast Episode 48 – Responding to Procedural Fairness Letters, with Raj Sharma »Read more ›
Joshua Sohn practiced immigration law for over 25 years. He is a past president of the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration section. He worked both as a sole practicioner, at a small firm and at a big 4 accounting firm. We discuss Joshua’s career, what made him go to law school, whether he took immigration courses in law school, how he started in refugee law, differences between working as a solo practicioner, small firm and eventually at a big 4 accounting firm, and then back to a small firm, differences working in a downtown core vs suburb, and managing the stress of practicing immigration law and running a business. There are a lot of nuggets in here for aspiring lawyers and current practicioners.
2:00 Quitting social media after retirement.
9:00 Law school
17:30 Are there any courses or law schools that are best to help someone start a career in immigration?
19:30 Starting a career in refugee law.
22:30 Is it possible to make a viable practice just doing refugee law?
29:00 The law firm as training ground.
32:00 Practicing as a sole practitioner vs at a large firm.
35:30 Does it make sense for someone to do just immigration law or should people getting into the field specialize in another area as well?
37:00 Practicing immigration law in Vancouver vs. Surrey
41:00 Compassion vs. running a business
42:00 How IRCC’s current processes create new pressures on immigration solicitors.
49:00 The Big 4 accounting firms and immigration.
53:00 Mentorship and volunteerism.
1:01 Tips to tell a co-worker who leaves half-drunk coffee cups around.
Last updated on March 14th, 2021
Section 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination. Aidan Campbell joins to discuss the application of s. 15 of the Charter to Canadian immigration law and the implications recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Fraser v. Canada.
Aidan Campbell is an Associate at Mahon & Company, a progressive firm which practices in Criminal Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, Public Interest & Constitutional Litigation, Sex Worker Rights, Prisoners’ Rights, Professional Discipline. Extradition Law and Tenants’ Rights
Section 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that:
- (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability;
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Kahkewistahaw First Nation v. Taypotat,  2 S.C.R. 548, at paras. 19‑20) provides that to prove a prima facie violation of s. 15(1) ,Read more ›
Last updated on April 6th, 2021
Aris Daghighian is a senior associate with Green and Spiegel LLP in Toronto. He represented the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers as intervenors in Brown v. Canada, 2020 FCA 130.
In this episode we discuss the issues raised in the case, including how immigration detention works in Canada, what the disclosure obligations should be on the government in an immigration detention proceeding and whether there should be a maximum time that someone can be held in immigration detention.
On April 1, 2021 the Immigration and Refugee Board issued updated detention guidelines in response to the Brown decision. They stated:
As a result of the FCA decision in Brown and the feedback received through our consultations, the IRB has revised the Guideline in the following ways:
- Clarify that there must be a nexus to an immigration purpose for detention to continue.
- Reinforce the Division’s obligation to consider sections 7, 9 and 12 of the Charter in exercising its discretion concerning whether or not detention is warranted.
- Confirm that consideration of conditions of detention is an extension of the ID’s Charter jurisdiction.
- Reinforce that the Minister has the legal burden to establish that detention is lawfully justified and remains on the Minister throughout the detainee’s period of detention.
- Reinforce that the Division must decide afresh whether continued detention is warranted at each detention review.
- Recognize that there is no obligation on the person concerned to lead fresh evidence between detention reviews for the ID to reach a different result.
- Clarify that the Minister must disclose all relevant information in advance of the hearing and in a timely manner.
Civil forfeiture is a process in which the government seizes assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. Did you know that in British Columbia the government can seize and forfeit your car if you speed? Or that police can “seize first ask later” for property that is less than $75,000? This was a fascinating look at an area of law that receives little scrutiny, especially in how it can relate to immigration.
Bibhas Vaze is a criminal defence lawyer in Vancouver.
4:45 – An overview of New Can and how it relates to civil forfeiture.
5:30 – What is civil forfeiture?
13:15 – Who has the onus of proving there is a tracing of property to unlawful activity?
16:50 – Can the government seize property that is partially the proceed of crime or that was used to commit unlawful activity?
17:10 – What is unlawful activity in the civil forfeiture context?
19:20 – What is the size of British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Office? How much property has it seized since its inception?
20:30 – Do all civil forfeiture cases have to go to trial?
25:10 – When is the property actually seized?
29:00 – What level of connection between the unlawful activity and the property is necessary in order for property to be seized?
32:20 – What is constitutional creep, and how does it play into civil forfeiture?
37:50 – If someone is ordered by a criminal court to pay a fine or restitution, can they they be subject to civil forfeiture,Read more ›
The Supreme Court of Canada in October issued its decision in R v. Tran, a case which Peter litigated. Deanna, Peter and Steve discuss the issues that the Supreme Court addressed in this landmark decision, including whether conditional sentences are terms of imprisonment for the purposes of deportation and retrospectivity in law.
This was the first of two Supreme Court cases that Peter arguedin Ottawa this year. While he was in Ottawa for the second case, he joined Michael Spratt and Emilie Taman, the creators of the Docket, a fantastic podcast about criminal law in Canada. Peter, Emilie and Michael discussed all sorts of issues regarding the intersection of immigration and criminal law, and Peter even explained how he got into practicing immigration law.
Read more ›
Last updated on October 25th, 2020
R v. Zora is a 2020 Supreme Court of Canada decision involving the criminal offence of breaching bail conditions. It is relevant in the Canadian immigration context as individuals who are convicted of this crime in Canada, or who are convicted of or commit an equivalent offence abroad, are inadmissible to the country.
Steven and Deanna are joined by Sarah Runyon, who was counsel for Mr. Zora at the Supreme Court. We discuss how bail works in Canada, the offence of breach of bail conditions, and the implications of the Supreme Court decision.
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Last updated on October 25th, 2020
Andrew, Deanna and Steven discuss the closure of the Canada – US border during COVID-19 and how the agreement has been implemented in the two policies, recent Executive Orders regarding immigration, and the United States Supreme Court decision in Department of Homeland Security et al v. Regents of the University of California et al.
Andrew Hayes is a US immigration lawyer who practices in Vancouver. His website is www.usborderlaw.com
2:00 -The closure of the Canada – US border
25:00 – Recent Executive Orders pertaining to immigration in the United States
45:00 – The DACA decisionRead more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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