Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to carry out audit of long-term detention reviews

In line with its commitment to excellence in the delivery of administrative justice, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will carry out an independent audit of detention reviews by the Immigration Division.

The decision to undertake this audit was made in part by the IRB Chairperson following a decision by the Federal Court on July 25, 2017 in Brown vs Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), in which the Court outlined the minimum legal requirements of lawful detention for immigration purposes. The Chairperson was further motivated to carry out the audit at this time given that the IRB is currently revising its Guideline on Detention.

While recognizing that Immigration Division members make thousands of well-reasoned decisions each year, often in challenging circumstances, the gravity of these decisions – determining for example whether or not an individual will continue to be deprived of their liberty – requires the IRB to be proactive in identifying and pursuing opportunities for improvement. This week's decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordering the release of an individual who had been detained for over a year for immigration purposes provides further impetus for the IRB's planned audit.

The audit, to be completed this Fall, will examine a sample of detention reviews from closed files involving long-term detention in order to obtain more detailed information regarding the level of depth and rigour in which detention reviews are conducted nationally. The results of the audit, which will be made available in due course, will guide the IRB in its continuous improvement activities, inform the development of the revised Guideline on Detention, and more broadly help to ensure high quality proceedings and decisions for individuals subject to a detention review by the Immigration Division.