Last Updated on August 20, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

One of the leading cases on procedural fairness is Charkaoui v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9.  There, the Supreme Court of Canada stated:

Last but not least, a fair hearing requires that the affected person be informed of the case against him or her, and be permitted to respond to that case. This right is well established in immigration law. The question is whether the procedures “provide an adequate opportunity for [an affected person] to state his case and know the case he has to meet” (Singh, at p. 213). Similarly, in Suresh, the Court held that a person facing deportation to torture under s. 53(1)(b) of the former Immigration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-2, must “[n]ot only . . . be informed of the case to be met . . . [but] also be given an opportunity to challenge the information of the Minister where issues as to its validity arise” (para. 123).

In Therrien v Canada (Attorney General), 2017 FCA 14, the Federal Court of Appeal stated that the the required specificity of the notice provided an affected person is to be determined in light of all of the circumstances including consideration of whether the affected person was in a position to meaningfully respond. Where an interested person is misinformed about the issues, including the statutory provisions in issue, a Court may conclude the interested person was unaware of the case to be met.

In Lv v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), stated:

the issue is not so much whether the decision was “correct”, but rather whether, taking into account the particular context and circumstances at issue, the process followed by the decision-maker was fair and offered to the affected parties a right to be heard and the opportunity to know and respond to the case against them.

In Gill v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2021 FC 741, the Federal Court ruled that an extension of time does not always remedy the impact that the lack of notice had, or may have have in an individual’s case.