One issue that applicants, and in particular refugee claimants, face is that their stories just sound implausible to the third party observer.

A tribunal is entitled to make reasonable findings based on implausibilities, common sense and rationality.  The courts have been clear that the Immigration and Refugee Board is entitled in assessing credibility to rely on criteria such as rationality and common sense.  In order to finding an applicant’s or claimant’s story to be implausible,  it must be clearly out of line with known facts or known norms of behavior.

Of course, it is not sufficient for a tribunal to simply state that a claimant’s story is “implausible” without explaining further the reasoning behind that finding.  In other words, as the Federal Court ruled in Vodics v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 783, adverise findings of credibility must be based on reasonably drawn inferences and not conjecture or mere speculation.

Of course, considerable caution is required when assessing the norms and patterns of different cultures and the practices and procedures of different police, political, and social systems.