Effective Date: September, 2020
Table of contents
Parameters of communication between RPD and RAD members
Parameters of communication between RPD and RAD member managers and their support staff
The objective of this policy is to increase transparency regarding collaboration and the exchange of information between the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Such collaboration is intended to enhance consistency, and quality in decision-making; support the RPD and RAD in achieving their strategic caseload management objectives; and support the effectiveness of the broader refugee determination system, in collaboration with others.
This policy reaffirms the principles of institutional independence of each Division by setting out the acceptable parameters for collaboration and communication between members and coordinating members (herein referred to as “members”) and Deputy Chairpersons and Assistant Deputy Chairpersons (herein referred to as “member managers”) of the RPD and RAD. Support staff of the RPD and RAD Deputy Chairperson and Assistant Deputy Chairpersons offices as well as staff with Tribunal Services are also covered by this policy.
This policy replaces the 2014
Chairperson’s Instructions Governing Communications Between Related Divisions at the Immigration and Refugee Board and the 2017
Terms of Reference for Interface Meetings between the Deputy Chairpersons of the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division.
This policy does not apply to specific directions set out in RAD-ordered redeterminations to the RPD.
The RPD and RAD are at the centre of Canada’s inland refugee determination system. Both are mandated to make independent, well-reasoned decisions on refugee claims and appeals fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the law.
As the first-level Division, the RPD hears and decides claims for refugee protection made in Canada.
As the appellate-level Division, the RAD decides appeals of decisions of the RPD to allow or reject claims for refugee protection. The RAD also supports the building of a cohesive body of refugee law jurisprudence and consistency in decision-making at the RPD and RAD.
4. General Principles
The IRB encourages the exchange of operational and adjudicative information between the RPD and RAD according to the specific parameters set out in this policy.
The IRB is also committed to ensuring the adjudicative independence between the two Divisions and to avoiding the perception that a Division of one level may improperly influence a Division of another level.
All members of the IRB have the same level of independence in their adjudicative functions, regardless of whether they are appointed pursuant to the
Public Service Employment Act or by the Governor in Council.
5. Parameters of communication between RPD and RAD members
In support of enhancing the consistency and quality of decision-making at the RPD and RAD, members of both Divisions are encouraged to communicate on a broad range of corporate and adjudicative topics, subject to certain limitations.
Examples of communication that is encouraged include the following:
- Sharing of jurisprudential tools and best practices;
- Joint training and consultation on cross-divisional resources, such as country of origin information, select adjudicative topics and corporate matters; and
- Coordination and participation at conferences or external stakeholder meetings.
Members of the RPD and RAD are also encouraged to access final decisions of either Division in order to remain current with recent jurisprudence.
In order to preserve the independent decision-making function of each Division, members of the RPD and RAD may not discuss any specific ongoing claims or appeals that are before the other Division. In addition, members may not access electronic records of ongoing cases in other Divisions.
When joint training is being delivered on adjudicative topics (either substantive or procedural), subsequent break-out discussions must take place separately to allow for free discussions among members of the same Division.
6. Parameters of communication between RPD and RAD member managers and their support staff
In addition to the parameters set out in Section 5, RPD and RAD member managers, their support staff and employees with Tribunal Services are expected to work collaboratively to achieve a coordinated approach to tribunal management across the refugee determination continuum.
In order to enhance the consistency, and quality of the adjudication process of both Divisions, examples of communication that are encouraged between member managers and their support staff include the following:
- Operational matters, such as the identification of issues and trends, and strategic caseload management;
- Adjudicative strategies, including the identification and issuance of jurisprudential tools;
- Identifying gaps and recommending training that would be beneficial for one or both Divisions’ members; and
- Coordination and participation in support of the Asylum System Management Board.
In all areas of communication, member managers and their support staff are encouraged to identify and facilitate operational linkages and sharing of best practices between Divisions in order to find efficiencies in and strengthen the effectiveness of the refugee determination continuum.
In order to preserve Divisional independence, RPD and RAD member managers and their support staff will not seek to influence the adjudication of specific cases in other Divisions.
As outlined in the
Code of Conduct for Members of the Immigration and Refugee Board, members and member managers have a responsibility to support the institutional interest of the IRB in ensuring the consistency of its decisions, while recognizing that no improper influence may be brought to bear upon their adjudicative independence.
As outlined in the
Value and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, RPD and RAD support staff and employees in the Tribunal Services Branch have a responsibility to support the institutional interest of the IRB by conserving and enhancing public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector.
In an instance where communication takes place that does not comply with the parameters set out in this policy, the issue will be brought to the attention of the appropriate RPD or RAD member manager, or if non-compliance is by a member manager, brought to the attention of their immediate supervisor.
The RPD and RAD are responsible for the implementation of this policy.
The monitoring of this policy will be carried out by the Policy, Outreach and Engagement Directorate in collaboration with the RPD and the RAD.
For information, contact:
Policy, Outreach and Engagement Directorate
Minto Place – Canada Building
344 Slater Street, 12th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K1