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Refugee board disputes Professor Sean Rehaag's study on bias and refugee boards

Refugee board disputes Professor Sean Rehaag's study on bias and refugee boards

Asylum rejection rates have no bearing in the quality and consistency of decisions made by adjudicators, says Canada’s refugee board, reported the Toronto Star March 4:

In fact, the board insists that each decision must be examined on a case-by-case basis.

“Statistics on the acceptance and rejection rates of individual IRB members who determine refugee claims made in Canada require context,” Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) spokesperson Anna Pape said Friday. “Each refugee protection claim referred to the IRB is reviewed on the evidence presented in that individual case and decided on its merits. Each case is unique.”

The IRB was responding to a new report by Osgoode Hall [Law School] Professor Sean Rehaag that found a wide range of rejection rates among its members, even when dealing with claims from the same country.

The findings have already cast doubt on IRB member David McBean’s ability to judge fairly. McBean rejected all his asylum cases since his 2007 appointment – 62 in 2010, 72 in 2009 and 35 in 2008. 

Rehaag also discussed the study, which examines the practices of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and reveals startling differences in the acceptance rates of individual adjudicators, on CBC’s “As It Happens”, “Au Dela De La 401” and “Le Telejournal Ontario” March 4.

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.