The impact of procedural capital and quality counsel in the Canadian refugee determination process
by Sule Tomkinson
International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (IJMBS), Vol. 1, No. 3, 2014

Abstract: In an era where international immigration is increasingly difficult and selective, refugee status constitutes a valuable public good that enables access and membership to the host country. Despite the independent, impartial and discretionary character of refugee decision-making at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), where an adjudicator determines refugee status following a hearing, critics blame the disparities in refugee status grant rates on the adjudicators. In particular, the disparities are attributed to unfair and inconsistent refugee determination. By examining the pre-hearing period and the refugee hearing, this article questions the attribution of responsibility in inconsistent decision-making solely to the adjudicators. Though refugee status grant rates do in fact vary, when the analytical gaze is turned to the characteristics of the refugee claimants and their counsels we notice that not all claimants have similar resources and abilities, receive equivalent legal consultation or submit case folders prepared in comparable quality.

Online publication date: Wed, 22-Apr-2015

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