The Canadian Association of Refuge Lawyers Recommendations: July 2016
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) has released a brief that details reform proposals for Canada’s inland refugee determination system. The paper also includes other proposals relevant to other areas of Immigration Law.
Echoing the popular mood in the country, CARL’s proposals largely focus on reforming the policies put in place by the previous Harper Government. The recommendations focus on eliminating legislative mechanisms that prohibit people in certain situations from accessing the refugee system. CARL also wishes to relax timelines, broaden access to appellate relief, and strengthen oversite.
Some highlights include:
- Eliminating bars on access to the refugee system based on country of origin and limiting the application of the agreement which restricts refugee applications from the US border
- Lengthening time limits for refugee applications and appeals
- Reform the complaints procedure for Refugee Protection Division decision-makers and create an immigration ombudsman
- Create a body that oversees the Canada Border Services Agency
- Allow greater access to the Refugee Appeals Division and affirm its merit-based review jurisdiction
- Increase access to Pre-Removal Risk Assessments
- Expand the applicability of Humanitarian and Compassionate relief
- Heavily limit cessation of refugee status applications from the government
- Repeal the deeming provision that makes any hybrid offence an indictable offence for the purposes of the IRPA
- Limit criminal inadmissibility in cases where an individual grew up in Canada
- Add intentionality to the requirements for inadmissibility based on misrepresentation
- Require best interests of the child assessments wherever a detention will have an impact on a child
The proposals would be in line with recent efforts by the Liberal government to expand access to Canada’s immigration system.