The complainant appeared as counsel for a claimant before the Refugee Protection Division.
The main allegations were as follows:
- the member was biased or at least appeared to be biased in that it seemed that the member had already decided the claim
- the member "went to another document to attach the credibility of that document leaving the room to obtain a foreign law which he then introduced into evidence”
- it was obvious that the member had already decided the case
The complainant stated that he had determined that it was not a fair hearing. He made a bias motion explaining why he had come to that conclusion. He stated that the member rudely denied the motion.
The complainant asked not to be assigned any cases with the member in the future.
The Office of Integrity forwarded the complaint to the Chairperson for a decision on whether the complaint was outside the scope of the complaints process under paragraph 5.5 of the Procedures for Making a Complaint About a Member (Complaints Procedures).
Both parties were informed about the resolution of the complaint. The Chairperson stated in his decision letter of July 3, 2019, that the complaint process is intended to address a member's conduct and not their decisions. The Chairperson concluded that the allegations were not related to the conduct of the member and therefore fell outside the scope of the Complaints Procedures.
The complaint was screened out and the file was closed.
Note - This complaint related to a perceived lack of impartiality and to the member’s exercise of adjudicative discretion in respect of the documentary evidence. The appropriate recourse to address these types of allegation is through the appeals process or judicial review at the Federal Court, as the case may be. This approach is based in the legal requirement that members’ adjudicative independence cannot be fettered.