The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers has left quite a mark on the legal landscape since coming into existence in September of 2011. CARL has been granted leave to intervene in four Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions, creating a positive impact on refugees’ legal rights in our country.

L’ACAADR a laissé une marque dans le paysage juridique depuis sa création en septembre 2011. L’ACAADR a reçu l’autorisation d’intervenir dans quatre décisions de la Cour suprême du Canada (SCC), ce qui a un impact positif sur le droit des réfugiés droits dans notre pays.

Below, find brief summaries of our work in the courts.

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)

2019 FC 1126. CARL was a party. The Federal Court found that a jurisprudential guide (JG) concerning Ahmadis from Pakistan established by the Chairperson of the IRB unlawfully fettered the adjudicative independence of RPD and RAD members. The Court found that a JG concerning internal flight alternatives available in Nigeria did not unlawfully fetter members’ discretion and was not improperly pre-selected. Lorne Waldman represented CARL.

Sebok and CARL v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) ;IMM-591-16, which was subsequently consolidated with Feher, et al. v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), IMM-3855-15 (“Feher”)

2019 FC 335. CARL was a party. The Federal Court found that the differential length of the PRRA bar for refugee claimants from DCOs (36 months) and non-DCOs (12 months) was unconstitutional as it violated s. 15(1) of the Charter. Alyssa Manning represented CARL.

Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov (37748)

Pending hearing. 2019 SCC 65 (CanLII). CARL was an intervener. The Supreme Court refined the standard of review set out in Dunsmuir, setting out a more robust description of the factors to be considered upon reasonableness review, which focuses mainly on the logic and justification of an administrative decision maker’s reasons. Notably, the Court stated that the impact of a decision on the affected individual should be considered in assessing the reasonableness of a decision. Audrey Macklin and Anthony Navaneelan represented CARL.

Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), et al. v. Chhina (37770)

Under reserve. 2019 SCC 29 (CanLII). CARL was an intervener. The Supreme Court found that the IRPA does not provide a detention review procedure that is at least as broad and advantageous as habeas corpus for three main reasons: 1) the onus under IRPA is less advantageous than that under habeas corpus; 2) the scope the Federal Court’s jurisdiction on judicial review is narrower than that of the superior court in habeas applications; and 3) habeas corpus is a timelier remedy. Jared Will and Joshua Blum represented CARL.

Rozas, et al v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

2018 FC 1145. CARL was an intervener. The Federal Court confirmed the standard of review for the RAD set out in Huruglica and rejected an alternative standard put forward by the RAD in a leading case. Anthony Navaneelan represented CARL.

Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Fisher-Tennant

Pending. CARL was an intervener before the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Fisher-Tennant on exceptions to the certified question regime and the ability of the Court to make rulings in the nature of a directed verdict. The Court left the door open on both issues. CARL counsel: Michael Bossin and Laïla Demirdache

R. v. Wong

2018 SCC 25 (CanLII), [2018] 1 SCR 696. Intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to circumstances under which a guilty plea may be withdrawn on the basis the accused was unaware of the collateral immigration consequences. The Court held the accused must demonstrate subjective prejudice, establishing a reasonable possibility that he or she would have either (1) opted for a trial and pleaded not guilty; or (2) pleaded guilty, but with different conditions, had they been aware the of legally relevant consequences at the time of the plea.

Counsel for CARL: Lobat Sadrehashemi and Lorne Waldman

http://canlii.ca/t/h6pmh

Alvin Brown et al. v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Pending. 2017 FC 710 (CanLII). Pending intervention before the Federal Court of Appeal with respect to several pivotal issues concerning immigration detention. This includes the grounds for detention, considerations for release, extent procedural fairness, and conditions of detention, as well as whether there is a presumptive limit to the reasonable length of detention. Counsel for CARL:  Maureen Silcoff, Ben Liston, Aris Daghighian

http://canlii.ca/t/h51m0

Tran v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)

2017 SCC 50. CARL was an intervener. Intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to pivotal issues concerning the intersection of immigration and criminal law. The Court held conditional sentence orders (CSOs) (i.e. “house arrest” orders) do not constitute a term of imprisonment for immigration purposes, and that changes in criminal statutes cannot be applied retrospectively in assessing admissibility.

Counsel for CARL: The Honourable Justice Norris, prior to his appointment to the Federal Court.

http://canlii.ca/t/h6pmh

Mudrak v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Pending hearing. 2016 FCA 178. In Mudrak v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) CARL intervened jointly with the CCR at the Federal Court of Appeal on the issue of the proper test for state protection under the Convention refugee definition. The Court did not alter the existing test. CARL Counsel: Maureen Silcoff, Jamie Liew and Aviva Basman