Description of the objective
The first phase of a new refugee determination system was created through legislative amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in December 2012. The final phase of the new refugee determination system transfers most of the functions related to Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) from Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) on a date to be set by the Governor-in-Council. CIC had announced that the transfer to the IRB of the PRRA function and outstanding PRRAs was expected to occur two years after the new system came into force. This was to provide CIC with additional time to reduce the number of pending PRRA applications before the transfer takes place.
The main objective of the Refugee Protection Division Rules (Applications for Protection) regulatory proposal is to implement the PRRA provisions of the amended legislation by making new Rules to govern the practice and procedure for the PRRA function within the RPD. This regulatory proposal is also referred to as the RPD PRRA Rules.
The proposed RPD PRRA Rules would provide clear and transparent direction on the practices and procedures of the RPD to parties (such as applicants and the Minister intervening in an application), counsel appearing before the RPD, the RPD staff who process applications and members who render decisions on applications. This direction ensures that parties present their application before the RPD in a consistent manner, therefore facilitating the fair and efficient administrative processing of applications. The proposed Rules also provide guidance to the RPD to ensure that all applications are processed in a consistent manner that respects the principles of fairness and natural justice.
The proposed RPD PRRA Rules would set out the general practices and procedures to be followed for all applications, including those that would govern interventions by the Minister in applications. The proposed Rules would also include the elaboration of procedures to ensure that the time limits expected to be set out in the CIC Regulations are met. They would also contain procedures similar to those for claims for refugee protection with respect to designated representatives for minors and persons unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings. They would also contain procedures governing the conduct of hearings if a hearing is held, such as those related to interpreters, witnesses, the conduct of the hearing and changing the location or date of a hearing.