Designation of Three-Member Panels - Refugee Appeal Division

April 12, 2013

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Authority to designate a three-member panel
  3. Criteria for designation
  4. Requests for three-member panels
  5. Notice of a three-member panel
  6. References
  7. Enquiries

1. Introduction

1.1 Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), proceedings are normally conducted by a single member of the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD). However, the Chairperson has the authority to constitute a panel composed of three members.

2. Authority to designate a three-member panel

2.1 The Chairperson has the power to direct that an appeal be conducted before a panel of three members.Note 1 A decision of a three-member panel is binding on the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and on a single-member panel of the (RAD).Note 2

2.2 The Chairperson retains the sole authority to designate three-member panels. The Deputy Chairperson of the RAD may advise the Chairperson as to the circumstances where he or she is of the view that a three-member panel is warranted.

3. Criteria for designation

3.1 A three-member panel may be designated if one or more of the following criteria is met:

  • The appeal raises unusually complex or emerging legal issues.
  • The appeal raises an issue in an area in which there is significant divergence or inconsistency in decision-making at either the RAD or the RPD.
  • The appeal raises a serious question of general importance.
  • The appeal raises an issue that may have a significant impact on practice and procedure at either the RAD or the RPD.
  • Any other relevant circumstances exist that make it appropriate that a three-member panel be designated.

3.2 The decision to designate a three-member panel is made on a case-by-case basis.

4. Requests for three-member panels

4.1 Once the Chairperson decides to designate a three-member panel, the parties will be advised in order to enable them to prepare for the proceedings accordingly.

4.2 There may be instances where a party applies to the RAD to have a case heard by a three-member panel. In these circumstances, the RAD will accept submissions from the parties on the question of whether the case should be heard by one or three members, and a decision will then be communicated to the parties.

4.3 Any request by counsel must be made in the form of an application pursuant to rule 37 of the Refugee Appeal Division Rules (RAD Rules).

5. Notice of a three-member panel

Notice to the parties and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

5.1 When a three-member panel has been designated, the RAD will notify without delay the following persons in writing of the designation: (1) the parties, including the Minister, even if the Minister has not intervened in the appeal; and (2) the UNHCR.Note 3

5.2 If the UNHCR has not provided notice of its intention to make written submissions in the appeal (or has provided notice of its intention but has not made submission within the time limit specified in rule 45[3)]), the RAD may proceed to make a final decision on the appeal without further notice if a period of 15 days has elapsed since the day on which the parties, including the Minister even if the Minister has not yet intervened in the appeal, and the UNHCR received notice of the designation of the three-member panel.

Notice to other persons

5.3 The RAD may give notice of the designation of a three-member panel, including the issue(s) to be determined. This will allow a person other than the UNHCR to make an application to the RAD to participate in the appeal by providing the RAD with written submissions. This application must be made in accordance with rule 46 of the RAD Rules.

5.4 Before the RAD renders a decision on the application to participate made by another person, the parties may respond in writing in accordance with rule 46 of the RAD Rules.

6. References

7. Enquiries

For information, contact:

Director, Policy and Procedures Directorate
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Minto Place—Canada Building
344 Slater Street, 14th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0K1

Fax: 613-952-9083


Note 1

IRPA, section 163.

Return to note 1 referrer

Note 2

IRPA, paragraph 171(c).

Return to note 2 referrer

Note 3

RAD Rules, rule 43.

Return to note 3 referrer