Canadian Refugee Procedure/Notice to Appear
The text of the relevant rule reads:
Notice to Appear Notice to appear 25 (1) The Division must notify the claimant or protected person and the Minister in writing of the date, time and location of the proceeding. Notice to appear for hearing (2) In the case of a hearing on a refugee claim, the notice may be provided by an officer under paragraph 3(4)(a). Date fixed for hearing (3) The date fixed for a hearing of a claim or an application to vacate or to cease refugee protection must not be earlier than 20 days after the day on which the parties receive the notice referred to in subrule (1) or (2) unless (a) the hearing has been adjourned or postponed from an earlier date; or (b) the parties consent to an earlier date.
Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult in Canada are not ordinarily expected to attend the hearing. During COVID this applies to all accompanied children.Edit
Accompanied children who are under the age of 12 on the date of the hearing are not required to appear before the RPD unless the presiding member requires their attendance. Children 12 years of age or older are still required to attend the hearing. However, during the COVID period, as a temporary measure, this is extended to all children: accompanied children under the age of 18 on the date of the hearing are not required to appear before the RPD unless the presiding member requires their attendance. As outlined in Chairperson Guideline 3: Child Refugee Claimants: Procedural and Evidentiary Issues, accompanied children include:
- Children who arrive in Canada at the same time as their parents or some time thereafter. In most cases, the parents also seek refugee status, and
- Children who arrive in Canada with, or are being looked after in Canada by, persons who the RPD is satisfied are related to the child, then the child should be considered an accompanied child.
How long is a normal hearing?Edit
Unless otherwise specified, for example if the hearing notice states that the hearing will be a full day or a short hearing of only 2 hours, parties should expect that a hearing will usually be about 3.5 hours. That said, hearing length can vary, usually within a range of 1–4 hours. Parties can make an application pursuant to Rule 50 to request a different hearing duration, for example that a full-day hearing be scheduled.
Conduct and process at the hearingEdit
For details about how parties should comport themselves in the context of a hearing, see the section of this book on decorum: Canadian Refugee Procedure/Decorum.
- Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Practice notice: Presence of children at Refugee Protection Division hearings, Practice notice signed on March 11, 2019 <https://irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/procedures/Pages/children-RPD-hearings.aspx>.
- Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Refugee Protection Division: Practice Notice on the resumption of in-person hearings, June 23, 2020, <https://irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/procedures/Pages/rpd-pn-hearing-resumption.aspx#toc42> (Accessed August 1, 2020).
- Kinbrace Community Society, Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants, 2019 Version, <https://refugeeclaim.ca/wp-content/themes/refugeeclaim/library/guide/rhpg-vancouver-en.pdf>, page 33 (accessed January 17, 2020).
- Nicholas Alexander Rymal Fraser, Shared Heuristics: How Organizational Culture Shapes Asylum Policy, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto (Canada), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2020, <https://search.proquest.com/openview/f925dea72da7d94141f0f559633da65a/1> (Accessed August 1, 2020), at page 80 of PDF.