The complainant was counsel for refugee claimants whose cases were heard by a member of the Refugee Protection Division.
The complainant alleged that the member decided that a claim was withdrawn for inappropriate reasons (i.e., the claimant was absent due to an illness), and that the member was aggressive and biased by pre-writing their decision.
The decision of whether to classify a claim as withdrawn, as well as whether and when to allow breaks to prepare submissions, were part of the member's adjudicative discretion. The way that a member came to their decision was also a matter of adjudicative discretion, and therefore, the allegations were not within scope of the Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member (the Procedures).
The Office of the Ombudsperson reviewed the audio recording of the hearing and determined that there was no evidence that the member pre-wrote their decision. The member specifically informed the complainant and claimants for both files that he was taking a break to prepare before providing his oral decisions on the files. The audio recording also indicated that that there were no comments or behaviour on the part of the member which could form the basis of a conduct complaint.
After reviewing the complaint, and consistent with the recommendation of the Ombudsperson, the Chairperson dismissed the complaint under the Procedures because the allegations were not within scope.
The complaint was dismissed and the file was closed.