The complainant appeared before the member as counsel for a refugee claimant at a Refugee Protection Division (RPD) hearing.
The complaint alleged that the member wasted time on the issue of late disclosure of documents. The member’s behaviour was stressful for the claimant and wasted the claimant’s money as he was paying counsel for the hearing. The complaint also alleged that the claimant never made an application for late disclosure and the member therefore had no authority to render a decision about the admission of the documents. The member demonstrated a lack of understanding of the RPD Rules related to the timelines for disclosing documents. It was further alleged that the member did not act in a courteous and respectful manner and he was demeaning. The member failed in his responsibility to maintain a high level of professional competence and expertise.
The Office of Integrity forwarded the complaint to the Chairperson for a decision on whether some of the allegations were outside the scope of the complaints process under paragraph 5.5 of the Procedures for Making a Complaint About a Member (Complaints Procedures).
Both parties were informed about the resolution of the complaint through a decision letter from the Chairperson. In his decision letter, the Chairperson stated that he was satisfied that the allegations in this complaint did not relate to the conduct of the member.
The Chairperson decided that the allegations with respect to the member’s interpretation of the RPD Rules, the time spent by the member on reviewing the issue, and his authority to render a decision relate to the member’s decision-making and not to conduct. As such, these allegations fall outside the scope of the Complaints Procedures.
The Chairperson also concluded that the allegation that the member did not maintain a high level of professional competence and expertise does not relate to the member’s conduct.
Conduct refers to a member’s behaviour, not to their professional competency.
The complainant requested that the recording of the hearing be reviewed along with the complaint. The audio recording was carefully reviewed and did not reveal any inappropriate behaviours which could form the basis of a complaint relating to member conduct.
The complaint was dismissed under paragraph 5.5(a) of the Complaints Procedures because none of the allegations were within the scope of the Complaints Procedures.
The file was closed.
Note - Most of the allegations in this complaint relate to the member’s interpretation of the RPD Rules, to the member’s authority to render a decision about the timeliness of disclosure of documents and to the time spent on the issue. These types of allegations relate to the member’s decision and the exercise of the member’s discretion and are not accepted for investigation. This approach is based in the legal requirement that members’ adjudicative independence cannot be fettered.