Canadian Refugee Procedure/Composition of Panels

IRPA Section 163Edit

The relevant provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act reads:

Composition of panels
163 Matters before a Division shall be conducted before a single member unless, except for matters before the Immigration Division, the Chairperson is of the opinion that a panel of three members should be constituted.


The Board only uses three-member panels for training purposesEdit

The IRB publishes a policy instrument on their website entitled Designation of three-member panels - Refugee Protection Division. It notes that the Chairperson's authority to designate three-member panels for matters before the RPD has been delegated to the Deputy Chairperson (DC) and to the Assistant Deputy Chairpersons (ADCs) of the RPD and so the Chairperson need not form the above-noted opinion personally. However, under this delegation cases may only be designated to be heard by three-member panels for training purposes.[1] That policy states that "assignment of three-member panels will be solely for training purposes" which appears to indicate that three-member panels will not be used in other circumstances, such as where a case is seen to be complex. For more details, see the commentary to Rule 68(2): Canadian Refugee Procedure/Decisions#Rule 68(2) - When a decision of a three member panel takes effect.


  1. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Designation of three-member panels - Refugee Protection Division, <> (Accessed April 13, 2020).