The Federal Court in Y.Z. and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 2015 FC 892 (“Y.Z.“) has certified the following two questions: Does paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“) comply with subsection 15(1) of the Charter? If not, is paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the IRPA a reasonable limit on Charter rights that is prescribed by law and can be demonstrably justified under section 1 of the Charter? The Court also announced that effective immediately refugee claimants from designated countries of origin can access […]

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The British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC“) in R v. Appulonappa has struck down s. 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“).  Section 117 theoretically prohibited human smuggling.  Its exact wording was: 117. (1) No person shall knowingly organize, induce, aid or abet the coming into Canada of one or more persons who are not in possession of a visa, passport or other document required by this Act. (2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) with respect to fewer than 10 persons is guilty of an offence and liable (a) on conviction […]

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Does the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”) violate the provisions of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) if it declines to postpone a hearing based on risk to life where there is a pending humanitarian and compassionate application also based on risk to life? The above question was certified by the Federal Court in Laidlow v. Canada, 2012 FC 144, released today.  The Federal Court of Appeal will soon answer the question. The facts in Laidlow giving rise to the question were essentially that an […]

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Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration was a 1985 Supreme Court of Canada decision that is to this day arguably the most significant decision that Canada’s Supreme Court has made in the area of Canadian immigration and refugee law. The Facts The Appellants were a mixture of Sikh and Guyanese individuals who sought refugee status in Canada during the late 1970s and early 1980s. At the time, the Immigration and Refugee Board did not yet exist.  Rather, asylum claimants submitted refugee claims directly to Canada’s immigration department, who would determine whether […]

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Section 24 of the Charter and Immigration

On June 11, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v. Conway, 2010 SCC 22 (“Conway“).  Conway explored the relationship between the Charter, its remedial provisions, and administrative tribunals.  Sections 24(1) and 24(2) of the Charter deal with remedies. Section 24(1) states that anyone whose Charter rights or freedoms have been infringed upon or denied may apply to a “court of competent jurisdiction” to obtain a remedy that is “appropriate and just in the circumstances”. Section 24(2) states that in those proceedings, a court can exclude evidence obtained […]

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