Thind v. Canada (MCI) 2022 FC 1782
In Thind v. Canada (MCI), Justice Rochester examined both the Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division’s (RAD) decisions to refuse the Applicant’s claim based on the exitance of a viable IFA. The RAD determined that the Applicant’s profile was not one of a vulnerable, single woman, who would face many barriers and generable-based violence, but rather was one of a married woman who could be joined in the IFA by her family. However, this finding went against the Applicant’s testimony before the RPD, wherein she stated that her husband was in hiding and would not be joining her, as well as her concerns about her children joining her. On judicial review, Justice Rochester found the RAD’s findings were unclear when it came to 1) irrelevancy of the Applicant’s husband and family’s presence or lack of it; 2) their belief of the Applicant’s claim that her husband and family could not join her, or 3) insufficient evidence that the Applicant would have the profile of a vulnerable, single woman, without male support. Justice Rochester concluded that the RAD’s treatment of the Applicant’s profile in the context of the IFA was unreasonable. The application for leave and judicial review was allowed.
Zeng v. Canada (MCI) 2022 FC 1771
In Zeng v. Canada (MCI) Justice Norris examined both the Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division’s (RAD) decisions to refuse the Applicants’ claim, based on lack of evidence that the female Applicant would be persecuted in China as a practitioner of Falun Gong. On judicial review, Justice Norris found the RAD made a critical flaw in their assessment of the Applicants’ supporting documentation. While the RAD did not doubt the authenticity of the supporting documents ( which supported her claim of persecution and investigation by the Chinese police), the documents were inconsistent with the RAD’s decision that the female Applicant was not a Falun Gong practitioner and was not perceived to be a threat by the Chinese authorities. The application for leave and judicial review was allowed.
Sundralingam v. Canada (MCI) 2022 FC 1768
In Sundralingam v. Canada (MCI) Justice Go explored the Officer’s decision to refuse the Applicant’s Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Application (PRRA) due to credibility findings. The Applicant had alleged fear and persecution based on being Tamil male from Eastern Sri Lanka, as well as his status of a returning failed refugee claimant from Canada. On judicial review, Justice Go found that the Officer made veiled credibility findings, which stemmed from the Officer’s concern about the Applicant’s affidavit that had outlined the Applicant’s experience of torture as a suspected LTTE supporter. Based on the Affidavit, the Officer concluded that what the Applicant endured did not meet the definition of torture and would thus not face risk in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the evidence in question raised a serious issue of the Applicant’s credibility, and was directly related to the factors set out in s.96 and s.97 of the IRPA. Should the Officer have accepted the evidence before him, it could potentially justify the approval of the PRRA application. Justice Go noted that given the circumstances an oral hearing would be required, but the Officer failed to hold one. Not withstanding the fact that the oral hearing issue was determinative for the application for leave and judicial review, Justice Go also found the Officer’s assessment of the Applicant’s personal evidence and country evidence to be unreasonable, making several reviewable errors. Justice Go concluded by stating that the officer’s reasons on evidentiary issues were not “justifiable, transparent or intelligible, and therefore did not demonstrate a rational chain of analysis.” The application for leave and judicial review was allowed.
Echavarria Quinones v. Canada (MCI) 2022 FC 1754
In Echavarria Quinones v. Canada (MCI) Justice Go assessed the Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) decisions to refuse the Applicants’ claim, despite the RPD accepting the parents’ claims against Venezuela under s.96 of the IRPA, and against Colombia under s.97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act – claims which were heard jointly with the Applicant’s, on the same grounds. On judicial review, Justice Go found that the RPD adopted a compartmentalized approach when it came to analyzing the Applicant’s claim and failed to recognize the interconnectedness between the Applicant’s claims against Venezuela and Colombia, as well as the alleged collaboration among the various agents of persecution. Justice Go noted that the RPD erred by 1) failing to address or consider testimony, submissions, and documentary evidence; 2) failing to consider why the Applicant was at risk in Venezuela; and 3) finding that there was no nexus to Convention. The application for leave and judicial review was allowed. It should be noted that wilt the Applicant requested that the Court issue a specific direction on credibility, Justice Go declined to do so as there were factual findings that had yet to be determined.
Gonzalez Jeronimo v. Canada (MCI) 2022 FC 1773
In Gonzalez Jeronimo v. Canada (MCI) Justice Southcott looked at both the Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division’s (RAD) decisions to refuse the Applicants’ claim, concluding that the Applicants were not threatened by the cartel. The Applicants’ claim was based on fear of harm and persecution from threats made against the Principal Applicant (the minor Applicant’s father) by corrupt former government officials and an associated criminal cartel in Veracruz, Mexico. While both claims were initially to be heard together, the Principal Applicant’s claim was subsequently separated due to a potential exclusion issue. On judicial review, Justice Southcott assessed whether there was a breach in procedural fairness by the RAD. In Justice Southcott’s view, the RAD’s analysis and line of reasoning differed from the RPD’s, preventing the Applicants from being able to anticipate on the RAD’s reliance on this new additional line of reasoning. The RAD’s reasoning (that the agents of persecution were not the Los Zetas cartel and were, therefore, unidentified) resulted in an erroneous finding of a viable IFA for the Applicants. Justice Southcott concluded that a breach of procedural fairness had occurred. The application for leave and judicial review was allowed.