Judicial Review Success Rates on Refugee Matters based on the Judge

Meurrens LawJudicial Reviews

Sean Rehaag, an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, has published a paper titled Judicial Review of Refugee Determinations (II): Revisiting the Luck of the Draw.  Its Abstract states:

This article updates an earlier empirical study of decision-making in the refugee law context in Canada’s Federal Court. The initial study found that outcomes in Federal Court applications for judicial review of refugee determinations depended all too often on the luck of the draw – on which judge decided the case. Since the initial study was released, the Federal Court has adopted measures to address variations in grant rates across judges. Drawing on data collected from over 33,000 online Federal Court dockets from 2008 to 2016, the article examines whether those measures have been successful and what further reforms should be pursued.

Some of the charts contained within are fascinating, and show the following.

1) The number of applications for leave to commence judicial review in refugee matters has been steadily declining since 2012. 

2) The % of leave applications being granted has increased from just under 20% from 2008-2012 to just under 30%. 

3) The % of successful judicial review applications, not including those that settle, has increased from under 10% to around 15%

4) The JR Grant Rate, including leave decisions, ranges from 0.7% to 33.8% in 2008-2011, and 1.8% to 22.8% in 2013-2016, depending on who the judge is.