The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“the Act”) requires the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”) to “…deal with all proceedings before it as informally and quickly as the circumstances and the considerations of fairness and natural justice permit.”Footnote 1 Ensuring the fair and efficient determination of refugee claims before the Refugee Protection Division (“RPD”) and appeals before the Refugee Appeal Division (“RAD”) is of great importance to the Board. The fair and efficient treatment of claims and appeals is essential to the IRB dealing with a significant backlog in the refugee determination continuum. The issuance of Jurisprudential Guides is meant to facilitate decision-making in both Divisions in a manner that meets the twin requirements of fairness and efficiency, enabling the IRB to discharge its statutory obligation set out above.
As indicated in the IRB’s Policy on the Use of Jurisprudential Guides (Policy 2003-01, as amended on December 1, 2016) (“the Policy”), RPD and RAD members are expected to apply Jurisprudential Guides in cases with similar facts or provide reasoned justifications for not doing so.
Decision TB6-11632 provides a detailed, clear, and sound analysis of Chinese exit control procedures and the ability for those being sought by the authorities to exit China via an airport using a genuine passport. The application of this Jurisprudential Guide in cases with similar facts will result in a consistent, fair, and efficient treatment of this issue by both the RPD and the RAD.
Therefore, on July 18, 2017 pursuant to section 159(1)(h) of the Act, and after consultation with the Deputy Chairpersons of the RPD and RAD, the Chairperson of the IRB identified the following RAD decision as a Jurisprudential Guide:
Scope: Analysis of whether a person wanted by the authorities can exit China via an airport using a genuine passport.
Decision TB6-11632 thoroughly analyzes the efficacy of the Chinese national computer network known as the Golden Shield Project, as well as the efficacy of other procedures in controlling exits from airports in China. The analysis at paragraphs 12-22 and 25-34 forms the basis of this Jurisprudential Guide and is relevant when considering a claimant’s allegations regarding their ability to exit China from an airport using a genuine passport. Given that China is consistently a top intake country the current Jurisprudential Guide should find wide application within the RPD and RAD.
This Jurisprudential Guide guides RPD members (including members dealing with Legacy claims), in appropriate circumstances, to adopt the RAD’s approach on these issues or to explain why it is not applicable. Chinese claims are frequently complex and lengthy. The adoption of the RAD approach on exit from China by air, in appropriate circumstances, will promote fairness, consistency, and efficiency in conducting hearings and writing reasons.
This Jurisprudential Guide also guides RAD members, in appropriate circumstances, to adopt this approach on these issues or to explain why it is not applicable. The adoption of this approach on exit from China by air, in appropriate circumstances, will promote fairness, consistency, and efficiency in writing reasons.
The key determination in this Jurisprudential Guide is one of fact that may be applicable to a large number of claims, in that it is a determination in relation to an aspect of the Chinese government’s public security infrastructure and how it operates. In order to ensure this Jurisprudential Guide remains relevant and useful to the work of the RPD and RAD, the Research Directorate of the IRB is required to monitor and report to the RAD Deputy Chairperson any developments in the country of origin information that could have an impact on the factual foundation that underlies this Jurisprudential Guide.