The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“the Act”) requires the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”) to “…deal with all proceedings before it as informally and quickly as the circumstances and the considerations of fairness and natural justice permit.”Footnote 1 Ensuring the fair and efficient determination of refugee claims before the Refugee Protection Division (“RPD”) and appeals before the Refugee Appeal Division (“RAD”) is of great importance to the Board. The fair and efficient treatment of claims and appeals is essential to the IRB dealing with a significant backlog in the refugee determination continuum. The issuance of jurisprudential guides is meant to facilitate decision-making in both Divisions in a manner that meets the twin requirements of fairness and efficiency, enabling the IRB to discharge its statutory obligation set out above.
As indicated in the IRB’s Policy on the Use of Jurisprudential Guides (Policy 2003-01, as amended on December 3, 2019) (“the Policy”), jurisprudential guides are not binding and members remain free to reach their own conclusions, based on the facts of each particular case.
RPD and RAD members are encouraged to consider the reasoning in jurisprudential guides in cases with similar facts or explain their reasoning for not doing so.
Decision TB7-01837 provides a detailed, clear, and sound analysis of state protection and internal flight alternative for Ahmadi claims from Pakistan. The application of this jurisprudential guide in cases with similar facts will result in a consistent, fair, and efficient treatment of this issue by both the RPD and the RAD.
Therefore, on July 18, 2017 pursuant to section 159(1)(h) of the Act, and after consultation with the Deputy Chairpersons, the Chairperson of the IRB identified the following RAD decision as a jurisprudential guide:
Scope: Whether the treatment experienced by Ahmadis from Pakistan amounted to persecution and whether state protection and an internal flight alternative are available.
Decision TB7-01837 thoroughly analyzes the determinative issues that arise when considering whether the state-sanctioned restrictions faced by Ahmadis in Pakistan amount to a denial of freedom of religion that constitutes persecution. In TB7-01837 the RAD provides a reasoned explanation as to why there is an absence of both state protection and a viable internal flight alternative for Ahmadi claimants from Pakistan.
The key determination in this jurisprudential guide is a determination of mixed law and fact. In order to ensure this jurisprudential guide remains relevant and useful to the work of the RPD and RAD, the Research Directorate of the IRB is required to monitor and report to the RAD Deputy Chairperson any developments in the country of origin information that could have an impact on the factual foundation that underlies this jurisprudential guide.