In 2020-21, the IRB aims to implement the recommendations from the review of the implementation of Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE Guideline). The objective is to ensure that the Guideline remains current, that SOGIE-diverse individuals appearing before the Board continue to receive consistently sensitive treatment and fair hearing, and that decisions are of high quality.
Previous departmental plans noted an intention to review Chairperson’s Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution. Due to work priorities and pressures associated with, among others, the increased intake levels for refugee claimants, the IRB had deemed it necessary to shift this work to a later date. In summer 2019, the IRB conducted a preliminary assessment of all eight Chairperson’s Guidelines. Priorities were recommended based on the results of this assessment. Chairperson’s Guideline 2: Detention, Chairperson’s Guideline 3: Child Refugee Claimants, and Chairperson’s Guideline 4: Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution are proposed for review in 2020-2021. Chairperson’s Guidelines pending review will be assessed as part of medium to long-term work plan development.
In 2020-21, the IRB will also continue to review its Designated Representatives (DR) Program. This Program aims to provide unaccompanied minors and those who are unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings at the IRB with competent DRs who adequately represent them.
Finally, the Immigration Appeal Division is seeking to renew its Rules. One of the objectives is to ensure more easily accessible Rules, which aims to assist appellants, including those who are unrepresented, with better access to justice. GBA Plu will be incorporated throughout this work.
Internally, the IRB is aiming to develop its own approach to GBA Plus more fully, including developing a policy statement, as well as carrying out a needs assessment.