Canadian Refugee Procedure/Board Jurisdiction and Procedure
IRPA Section 162(1) - Board jurisdictionEdit
Section 162(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act reads:
Sole and exclusive jurisdiction 162 (1) Each Division of the Board has, in respect of proceedings brought before it under this Act, sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions of law and fact, including questions of jurisdiction.
This provision of the Act provides the Board's plenary jurisdictionEdit
The above provision of the IRPA provide what can be referred to as the Board's plenary powers to control its process. In the absence of a specific rule, they provide the Board with the authority to act. For example, in Koky v. Canada the Federal Court noted that in the absence of a specific provision in the rules for the Division disjoining claims on its own motion, it could rely on the authority conferred to it by the above provision in the Act.
IRPA Section 162(2) - Obligation to proceed informally and expeditiouslyEdit
Procedure (2) Each Division shall deal with all proceedings before it as informally and quickly as the circumstances and the considerations of fairness and natural justice permit.
Each Division shall deal with all proceedings before it as informally and quickly as the circumstances and the considerations of fairness and natural justice permitEdit
The Federal Court of Appeal has stated: “There is compelling public interest, in Canada, in having refugee status determined as soon as is practically possible after a claim is made.”
A typical full-time Member of the Refugee Protection Division who is not on a special team is expedited to complete 120 files per year. It is difficult to compare workload among different systems, but many others appear to provide for much less time for decision-making. For example, in the French refugee determination system the Rapporteurs who research files for asylum judges participate in two to three full hearing days per month, each of which requires preparation of 13 files, totalling around 350 cases a year. This workload allows approximately half a working day for each file, with little room to deviate for complex cases. That said, it is difficult to compare workloads because of the differences in the nature of each role and the comparatively limited support that RPD Members receive to prepare for hearings.
- Koky v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 562 (CanLII), para. 37 <https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2015/2015fc562/2015fc562.html#par37>
- Seth v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration),  3 F.C. 348 (C.A.).
- Hambly, J. and Gill, N. (2020), Law and Speed: Asylum Appeals and the Techniques and Consequences of Legal Quickening. J. Law Soc., 47: 3-28. doi:10.1111/jols.12220.