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Judge blasts ruling by refugee board member with zero acceptance rate

Judge blasts ruling by refugee board member with zero acceptance rate

The day the Toronto Star broke the story on a wide variation of acceptance rates by refugee board members, a Federal Court judge issued a decision chastising an adjudicator who had not granted asylum to anyone in three years, wrote The Star March 9:

In an order issued Friday on an appeal by failed refugee claimant Bingrou Xu, the judge eight times repeated that the credibility findings by Immigration and Refugee Board member David McBean were "unreasonable".

McBean rejected Xu’s refugee claim last summer, stating 14 times that the claimant’s story was unsatisfactory and lacked credibility. Xu fled Belize in 2007 with his two children, claiming his wife was shot to death in a botched robbery of their convenience store and his family continued to be threatened.

“The (refugee) board’s conclusion . . . appears to have been based on the cumulative effect of the ‘discrepancies, contradictions and other problems’ that the board identified,” Justice Paul Crampton ruled.

. . .

Data analysis by Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Sean Rehaag revealed last week that McBean granted asylum to none of the 169 cases assigned to him since his 2007 appointment, with most of his rejections citing claimants' credibility as an issue. The data also showed several board members had extremely high acceptance rates.

Rehaag's study examines the practices of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and reveals startling differences in the acceptance rates of individual adjudicators. His findings were later disputed by the board.

Rehaag is also a member of the Centre for Refugee Studies.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.