Interface Meetings between the Deputy Chairpersons of the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division

16 June 2017

Terms of Reference

Membership: The Deputy Chairpersons (DCs) of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) and, as required, the Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Special Advisors or staff of the DCs or the Chairperson may attend at the request of the Chairperson or the RPD or RAD DCs.

Frequency of Meetings: As needed

Record of Meetings: As this is an information sharing meeting no decisions will be taken and no record shall be taken

Mandate and Context: Parliament’s decision to situate the RAD within the IRB reflects a decision to have the Board assume responsibility for the protection determination process as a whole and to treat the process as a continuum from initial referral to appeal decision. The IRB is accountable to Parliament for an approach to refugee protection that is both coherent and efficient. The IRB Chairperson, along with the Deputy Chairpersons of the RPD and RAD, are charged with managing the refugee adjudication continuum and ensuring a coordinated approach to tribunal management while respecting the independence and impartiality of each division and of each of their members.

DCs will never discuss the adjudication on the merits of individual cases or groups of cases of a similar type, nor will their discussions otherwise compromise the adjudicative independence of either Division.

Since the creation of the Immigration and Refugee Board in 1989, Canada’s refugee determination system has experienced sudden and, at times dramatic, fluctuations in the volume of refugee claims. The most current example is the growth in the volume of claims at the RPD since late 2016. The refugee determination system is facing sustained pressure. The meetings will be in accordance with the Chairperson’s Instructions Governing Communications Between Related Divisions at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (May 30, 2014).

In order to ensure fairness and efficiency throughout the refugee determination continuum the RPD and the RAD must manage their caseloads strategically. The RAD must do this in a way that develops a coherent national refugee jurisprudence which can be applied fairly and efficiently by the RPD.

The Interface meetings will ensure that the RAD and RPD DCs understand the pressures and priorities facing each Division, and will enable each Division to more effectively carry out its mandate. The RPD-RAD Interface Meeting is the primary point of interaction and communication on common RPD-RAD interests. The DCs will meet to discuss emerging issues and trends, facilitating a deeper understanding of challenges and developments within the refugee adjudication continuum.

The objective is to ensure timely communication of those issues and trends and efficient planning to respond to them. This objective is subordinate to the overriding principles of  independence and impartiality in adjudication that apply equally to each division and that reflect the respective roles of the RPD as the tribunal of first instance and the RAD as the appellate tribunal in matters of refugee adjudication.