CRS is pleased to announce the release of this report on access to justice for refugees, produced in collaboration with the CERC in Migration and Integration, and the Canadian Foundation for Civil Justice.
The report, which is co-authored by Craig Damian Smith, Sean Rehaag, and Trevor Farrow gathers data from stakeholders, including a survey of Immigration and Refugee Board Members, data provided by legal aid programs, focus groups with refugee lawyers and civil society organizations, and interviews with refugee claimants. It identifies challenges related to the stability and evenness of funding for legal aid as well as problems related to quality of counsel. It offers a series of policy recommendations, including:
- Establishing adequate, stable and responsive legal aid funding;
- Facilitating early access to quality counsel and assistance with file and hearing preparation;
- Exploring service delivery models that rely more heavily on refugee legal aid clinics, combined with wraparound support services; and
- Ensuring oversight and improved reporting structures to address low-quality and abusive counsel.
The link to the report can be found here: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3980954