We are cross-examining IRCC on their process of refusing temporary residence applications.
Dear Canadian Immigration Counsel:
If you have been engaged in judicial reviews of temporary residence applications you have probably have seen something like this recently:
While the Department of Justice’s position is that this does not affect the merits of the underlying decision, there is much more than meets the eye. The technical affidavit DOJ is filing (please email us for a copy) attempts to justify IRCC’s process for refusing temporary resident applications.
They are being filed in temporary resident matters specifically to set up an argument that the reasons for refusal are limited to templated language and therefore cannot provide a detailed Officer’s assessment. Please read Will Tao’s blog post here for context. If they are able to get endorsement from the Court in Ocran (IMM-6571-20) they will likely seek to get similar judicial treatment in other cases.
Several Toronto-based lawyers for the Department of Justice are collaborating on this case and have recently switched gears after initially planning to utilize another test case from earlier this year.
If templated decisions (GCMS notes/Rule 9 Reasons) become the norm, expect this to make it very difficult for your clients to challenge refusals and respond to procedural fairness letters.
We have been working with very competent counsel in Ocran in seeking to cross-examine IRCC. Within the limitations of cross-examinations and the technical issues involved, one cross-examination will not be enough. These cross-examinations will also need to be carefully coordinated and curated to dissect the various elements. A technical expert would likely be needed at some stage.
While these issues may not directly change or impact the decision in your case, the overall importance of transparency, of pushing back against discriminatory practices, and of maintaining our clients (and our own) procedural fairness rights are paramount.
If you are interested in collaborating, please contact our Firm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Heron Law Team