Borderlines Podcast Episode 39 – Immigration Detention Hearings after Brown v. Canada, with Aris Daghighian

25th Oct 2020 Comments Off on Borderlines Podcast Episode 39 – Immigration Detention Hearings after Brown v. Canada, with Aris Daghighian

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.

Borderlines · #39 – Immigration Detention Hearings after Brown v. Canada, with Aris Daghighian

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.

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A Common Sense Approach to A44 Reports

26th Mar 2013 Comments Off on A Common Sense Approach to A44 Reports

Last updated on February 3rd, 2019

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) provides that an officer who believes that a foreign national or permanent resident in Canada is inadmissible to Canada (for criminality, health, overstay, working without authorization, etc.) may prepare a report alleging the inadmissibility (commonly known as an “A44 Report“).   The Act further provides that once an officer prepares an A44 Report, then the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) (the agency generally responsible for this) may commence removal proceedings, or, when necessary, refer the matter to the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent administrative tribunal.

The use of the term “may” in the Act has caused much confusion.

In Cha v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FCA 126 (“Cha“), the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA“) declared that the use of the word “may” did not actually grant CBSA officers broad discretion to exercise or not to exercise the power to write A44 Reports and to commence removal proceedings when it believed that someone was inadmissible to Canada.  The FCA stated (citations removed for ease of reading):

In Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General) at pages 623 to 626, Létourneau J.A. reminded us that the use of the word “may” is often a signal that a margin of discretion is given to an administrative decision maker. It can sometimes be read in context as “must” or “shall”, thereby rebutting the presumptive rule in section 11 of the Interpretation Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I‑21 that “may” is permissive. It can also be read as no more than a signal from the legislator that an official is being empowered to do something.

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Refugees, Article 1F, and Rehabilitation

3rd Jan 2013 Comments Off on Refugees, Article 1F, and Rehabilitation

Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention excludes individuals who have committed serious crimes from being eligible for refugee status under the Convention.  It states:

Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention states:

F. The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that:

( a ) He has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;

( b ) He has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his admission to that country as a refugee;

( c ) He has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Section 98 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act“) provides that a person encompassed by the 1951 Refugee Convention is not a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection pursuant to the Act.

In Hernandez Fables v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 1103, the Federal Court certified the following question:

When applying article 1F (b) of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is it relevant for the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board to consider the fact that the refugee claimant has been rehabilitated since the commission of the crime at issue?

In other words, should a refugee claimant who has committed a serious non-political crime abroad, but has since been rehabilitated, be precluded from claiming refugee status?

The Federal Court of Appeal has definitively answered that it does not matter whether a person who has committed a serious non-political crime abroad has been rehabilitated.  

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The “Innocent Mistake” Defence to Misrepresentation

6th Jun 2012 Comments Off on The “Innocent Mistake” Defence to Misrepresentation

Last updated on August 8th, 2021

Canadian immigration law provides that a person who makes an application must answer truthfully all questions put to them for the purpose of the examination.  Every visa applicant has a duty of candour to provide complete, honest and truthful information when applying for entry to Canada.  Any misrepresentation, whether direct or indirect, that either induces, or could induce, an error by a visa officer in the performance of his or her duties, can result in a person being barred from Canada for five years.

Misrepresentation can occur without an applicant’s knowledge.

In Jiang v Canada(Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), Justice Russell stated that:

With respect to inadmissibility based on misrepresentation, this Court has already given section 40 a broad and robust interpretation. In Khan, above, Justice O’Keefe held that the wording of the Act must be respected and section 40 should be given the broad interpretation that its wording demands. He went on to hold that section 40 applies where an applicant adopts a misrepresentation but then clarifies it prior to a decision. In Wang v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 1059, this Court held that section 40 applies to an applicant where the misrepresentation was made by another party to the application and the applicant had no knowledge of it. The Court stated that an initial reading of section 40 would not support this interpretation but that the section should be interpreted in this manner to prevent an absurd result.

In Baro v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), the Court further held that:

Even an innocent failure to provide material information can result in a finding of inadmissibility;

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Espionage and Immigrating to Canada

29th Jul 2010 Comments Off on Espionage and Immigrating to Canada

Last updated on June 9th, 2020

Section 34(1) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides, amongst other things, that a foreign national or Canadian permanent resident is inadmissible to Canada for engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests, or being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in espionage against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests.  It is one of the most serious inadmissibilities in Canadian immigration law.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (“IRCC”) Enforcement Manual 2 – Inadmissibilities contains the following definitions and guidance to officers regarding how immigration officials are to determine whether someone is inadmisisble to Canada for espionage.

Espionage is defined as a method of information gathering by spying; that is, the gathering of information in a surreptitious manner, secretly seeking out information usually from a hostile country to benefit one’s own country.

Paragraph A34(1)(a) contains two possible allegations that could render a permanent resident or foreign national inadmissible to Canada for acts of espionage:

1. if the act of espionage is against Canada, or

2. if the act of espionage is contrary to Canada’s interests.

Espionage “against Canada” means espionage activities conducted by a foreign state or organization in Canada and/or abroad against any Canadian public or private sector entity on behalf of a foreign government. It may also include activities of a foreign nonstate organization against the Government of Canada, but does not include acts of industrial spying between private entities where no government is involved.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of activities that may constitute espionage that is “contrary to Canada’s interests”:

 Espionage activity committed inside or outside Canada that would have a negative impact on the safety,

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