Reasons of interest
Following are links to select refugee appeal decisions that the IRB deems noteworthy for meeting one or more of the following criteria:
- Decisions that model a practical or expedient approach to an issue;
- Decisions that demonstrate a novel or evolutional approach to an issue;
- Decisions that thoroughly assess a complex issue;
- Decisions that model excellence in reasons writing;
- Decisions that respond to a timely or emerging issue.
Decisions identified here will be prefaced by a short introduction. All published Refugee Appeal Division decisions are available on
Decision No. MB9-21381 February 2021
Provides an example where COVID-19 related evidence is admitted as new evidence, but the analysis shows that it poses only a generalized risk and is not connected to a Convention ground.
Decision No. MB9-13938 February 2021
Provides an example of how COVID-19 can exacerbate the vulnerabilities faced by some groups in the proposed internal flight alternative (IFA). The appellants submitted new evidence to show the general impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria as well as the gendered impact of COVID-19 on women. This was a split decision in which the female appellant was found not to have a viable IFA, but the male appellant did.
Decision No. VB9-08549 February 2021
Provides an examination of a specific situation of criminality and internal flight alternative (IFA) in Mexico, in which the agent of persecution is the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG). It does not purport to address all situations involving criminality with this cartel.
Decision No. MB8-15738 October 2020
Provides an example of the RAD exercising its jurisdiction to determine an appeal on grounds other than those considered by the RPD. The RAD found that the determinative issue was not credibility, as the RPD had found, but whether the appellant faced a prospective risk if returned to Haiti.
Decision No. TB7-23779 October 2020
Provides a clearly written assessment of the issue of identity in Somalia. The RAD undertook its own analysis and agreed with the RPD on inconsistencies around the appellant’s US refugee claim, his date of birth and an identity witness’s affidavit, finding that there was insufficient evidence to establish the appellant’s personal and national identity.
Decision No. TB8-27166 October 2020
Deals with a breach of natural justice for a case in which the testimony of a witness was not interpreted for the Appellant. The RAD found that the RPD breached the Appellant’s right to understand the proceedings. The RAD sent it back to the RPD for redetermination.
Decision No. VB9-05280 October 2020
Provides a thorough analysis of the appellant’s genuineness of faith in an appeal involving Christianity in Iran. The RAD articulates the problems inherent with imposing a rigid test of religious belief and practice upon an Appellant.
Decision No. VB8-05849 October 2020
Dismisses a Minister’s appeal of a positive RPD decision and cautions against bringing appeals based on speculative assessments of plausibility.
Decision No. TB9-18639 October 2020
Addresses a procedural fairness issue in which the RPD member was overly stringent in applying the RPD rules. The RPD member did not allow new evidence or a witness to testify due to late notice. The RAD sent it back to the RPD for redetermination.
Decision No. MB8-19526 August 2020
Clearly and concisely addresses an appeal of a US-born minor appellant and the concept of family unity, as it relates to refugee determination.
Decision No. TB8-24987 August 2020
Outlines the legal principles associated with applications to reopen and applies them to the facts of the case.
Decision No. TB8-04091 August 2020
Evaluates the admissibility of new evidence and the requirement to conduct a hearing under s.110(6) of the IRPA. It is a case involving bisexuality in Nigeria, in which the new evidence was crucial to the appeal. After holding a hearing on the new evidence, the RAD member substituted a positive decision.
Decision No. TB8-18620 August 2020
Dismisses an appeal on credibility grounds. The underlying basis of the claim related to the Appellant’s asserted bisexual identity. The decision sets out the determinative issues clearly at the outset, and upholds RPD findings that went unchallenged on appeal. The decision also addresses a sur place element of the claim arising from evidence from LGBTQ organizations, which the RAD found was insufficient to overcome the serious credibility concerns.
Decision No. TB9-20832 August 2020
Sets out a proper approach to claims involving gender-based violence, in accordance with the IRB’s Gender Guidelines. The RAD pointed to various ways in which the approach of the RPD did not comply with the Guidelines, particularly in the manner in which it questioned the Appellant. The RPD Member’s approach resulted in a breach of procedural fairness; the insensitive questioning re-traumatized the appellant and prevented her from presenting her case.
Decision No. TB8-00811 August 2020
This decision thoroughly assesses identity and credibility findings in the case of an appellant with low literacy skills from Somalia. It applies
Guideline 4 – Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution relating to sensitivity in questioning victims or witnesses of gender-based violence.
Decision No. TB9-24114 June 2020
This decision examines the issue of cumulative discrimination amounting to persecution, in relation to Hungarian Roma refugee claimants. It includes an analysis of Federal Court jurisprudence and country conditions related to Roma in Hungary.
Decision No. TB8-30580 June 2020
This decision outlines a situation in which an internal flight alternative (IFA) was found not to exist for the Appellant, who was a victim of domestic violence in Nigeria. The RAD found that there was no viable IFA because the agent of persecution had the means and motivation to find the appellant and had previously tracked down the appellant.
Decision No. MB8-00387 June 2020
In this decision, the RAD highlighted the principle that refugee claimants cannot be expected to hide their sexual orientation in order to avoid persecution or other mistreatment. Citing
Nwabueze 2019 FC 1577, the RAD found that an internal flight alternative (IFA) is not viable if an individual can only safely relocate by hiding their sexual orientation.
Decision No. VB9-01721 June 2020
This decision provides an examination of a specific situation of criminality and internal flight alternative (IFA) in Mexico. It does not purport to address all situations involving criminality, nor does it address multiple potential IFA locations in Mexico. The decision also provides an example as to when a decision-maker may directly consider the issue of IFA without first addressing credibility concerns, as considered by the Federal Court in
Dakpokpo 2017 FC 580.
Decision No. MB7-00072 April 2020
This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention, taking into consideration the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in
Ezokola, 2013 SCC 40. It is an appeal involving allegations of complicity with ISIS in Lebanon.
Decision No. VB9-02860 April 2020
This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention. It is an appeal involving allegations of identity fraud committed in the United States by appellants from El Salvador. In the decision, the RAD found that the RPD's consideration of the sentencing range applicable to the offences in question was inconsistent with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in
Febles, 2014 SCC 68.
This decision provides a useful conceptual framework of analysis for considering the issue of internal flight alternatives (IFAs) for persons fleeing non-state actors in Nigeria. It sets out a list of factors to consider related to the reasonableness of a potential IFA. These factors are: travel and transportation, language, education, employment, accommodation, health care, culture, indigeneship, and religion.
While this decision was formerly identified as a Jurisprudential Guide by the Chairperson, he revoked that designation due to evolving country information. The decision is now identified as a RAD Reasons of Interest due to the value of the framework of analysis, absent any of the factual findings. The framework includes the legal test for identifying a viable internal flight alternative as well as the seven factors set out at paragraphs 14-15 and 21-30. In this way, members may use the analytical framework to structure their assessment of the facts of each case as well as the most current country of origin information.
Decision No. MB7-10167
Decision No. TB7-15366
Decision No. TB7-12465
Decision No. VB6-03878
Decision No. VB8-04337
Decision No. VB8-05618
These latest RAD Reasons of Interest (RROIs) model a point-first approach to reasons-writing. Point-first writing is a reader-focused approach that improves the quality, simplicity and clarity of written decisions. By honing in on determinative issues and using overviews and headings to guide readers, the point-first approach leads to concise reasons that are quicker to write and easy to understand. RAD members are developing their point-first styles, so please have a look at these examples and stay tuned for more to come!
This decision models a practical approach to assessing credibility based on knowledge of the Falun Gong practice in China. The appellant was found not to be credible due to her inability to demonstrate a level of knowledge comparable to her alleged practice.
Decisions No. MB8-13243
This decision models a practical approach to assessing generalized risk versus personalized risk in a case involving criminality in Haiti. The decision focuses on credibility and the sufficiency of objective evidence.
Decision No. TB8-05173
This decision examines the issue of negative credibility inferences drawn from implausibility findings. It highlights that plausibility findings should be made "only in the clearest of cases.” In this appeal, the RAD has substituted a positive determination for the RPD’s rejection of a claim for refugee protection.
Decision No. TB7-07363
This decision considers a domestic violence claim through the lens of
Guideline 4 - Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution.
Decision No. MB6-06938
This decision considers the question of family unity and the best interests of the child in a case involving an American-born child of Haitian parents.
Decision No. MB7-22589
This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1E of the Refugee Convention in the case of a Haitian claimant with permanent resident status in Brazil.
Decision No. TB7-12847 (Jamaica) and
Decision No. MB5-03341 (Sri Lanka)
These decisions examine credibility findings through the lens of the
Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.
Decision No. TB7-04608 (Turkey)
This decision provides a thorough overview of the political situation in Turkey as it relates to Hizmet followers.
Decision No. VB6-04568 / 1F(a)
This decision provides a thorough exclusion analysis pursuant to Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention.
Decision no. VB8-01757
This decision considers the principle of
stare decisis (following legal precedent) and the jurisdiction of the RAD to give directions to the RPD in its reasons for decision.