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. #MB9-29401 January 2022
Provides an example of a trauma-informed approach to decision-making. In this case involving a victim of same-sex sexual violence in Algeria, the RAD found that the RPD did not appropriately apply
Guideline 9 – Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression and erred in asking inappropriate questions, relying on stereotypes, and failing to consider the cultural context of the appellant’s situation. The RAD substituted a positive decision.
Decision No. #MC0-05967 January 2022
Provides an example of an analysis of cumulative discrimination with an intersectional approach. In this case, involving a combination of political, religious, and ethnic grounds for a Christian man of Kabyle origin in Algeria, the RAD substituted a positive decision, finding that the cumulative effect of multiple types of discrimination amounted to persecution.
Decision No. #MB8-25922 November 2021
Provides an example of section 97 analysis, particularly for the risk in Haiti as a victim of general criminality and as a returnee from abroad. The decision also examines the residual gender profile.
Decision No. #TB9-03925 November 2021
Outlines the legal framework to be applied in assessing generalized risk in section 97 claims. It is a case involving fear of criminal gangs in El Salvador. The RAD dismissed the Appeal, finding that the Appellant’s risk was generalized.
Decision No. #VB8-06039 November 2021
Provides an example of a dismissal of a Minister’s appeal after concluding the appellant faces a personal risk that is not the same as the one generally faced by others. The case involves a threat of kidnapping by militias in Libya. The RAD accurately sets out the conjunctive test under s. 97(1)(b) (see para. 30) and the jurisprudence on the evolution of the risk (see paras. 32).
Decision No. #MB9-27753 November 2021
Demonstrates the application of the Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE Guideline). The RAD found that the RPD failed to properly apply the guideline by relying on stereotypes and incorrect assumptions. It is a Nigeria appeal in which the RAD substituted a positive decision, finding the appellant established her sexual orientation.
Decision No. #VB9-06499 November 2021
Provides an analysis of Article 1F(b) exclusion and the defense of danger of imminent harm under section 285 of the
Criminal Code. It is a case in which the Minister argued that the Principal Respondent should be excluded from refugee protection pursuant to Article 1F(b) due to child abduction. The RAD outlines the factors applicable to the defence of danger of imminent harm and concludes that the defence is met and the Principal Respondent is not excluded.
Decision No. #TB9-23577 November 2021
Provides a framework for assessing contradictions between port of entry interview notes and other evidence. The appellants provided contradictory reasons for why they left India during their initial interview at the port of entry, and it was only later at their second interview and in their Basis of Claim forms that they stated that they left India because they feared persecution or harm. The RAD confirmed the RPD’s decision that this undermined the Appellant’s credibility.
Decision No. #TB9-26544 August 2021
This decision outlines a situation in which an internal flight alternative (IFA) was found not to exist for the Appellant, a Shia adherent in Pakistan who faced threats by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). While the RAD notes that the objective evidence about Shia is mixed, it found that in this case the LeJ had the means and motivation to locate the Appellant, due to his active role in the Shia community and the LeJ’s belief that he had committed blasphemy.
Decision No. #MB8-03939 May 2021
Provides an example of assessing internal flight alternative (IFA) in India, when the agent of persecution is a local state agent who lacks motivation to track the appellant to a different area of India.
Decision No. #TB8-24552 May 2021
Provides a clear framework for the application of the compelling reasons exception under s.108(4) of the IRPA where there has been a change in circumstances since the Appellant left their country of origin.
Decision No. #TB7-15889 March 2021
Provides an example of when new evidence submitted to the RAD is found inadmissible due to credibility concerns including: its timing; the implausibility of its source and circumstances; and an inconsistency between the new evidence and previous testimony.
Decision No. #TB8-19888 March 2021
Demonstrates in a well-organized manner how to address proposed new evidence, including evidence submitted by way of a Rule 29 application. This decision explains why certain pieces of proposed new evidence did not meet any of the s. 110(4) criteria, weighs all relevant factors in subrule 29(4), and explains why certain pieces of evidence met all of the
Decision No. #MB9-26284 March 2021
Provides an example of applying
Guideline 9 – Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender identity and Expression to address a common error of equating sexual acts or attractions with identifying as homosexual. It is a Cameroon appeal in which the RAD substituted a positive decision.
Decision No. #TB9-28106 March 2021
Addresses the authenticity of documents (paras 8-22) and the use of evidence in National Documentation Package (NDP) (paras 23-30).
Decision No. #TB9-18107 March 2021
Provides an examination of how the family laws in Nigeria impact the internal flight alternative (IFA) analysis for an appellant with minor children.
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. 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. TB7-12465
Decision No. VB8-04337
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)
This decision examines 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. 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.