The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) has an obligation to proceed quickly and informally, but must also provide parties with a reasonable opportunity to present evidence. Despite previous efforts to decrease the amount of late and/or unnecessarily voluminous disclosure, challenges in these areas remain. These challenges are having a negative impact on the RPD’s ability to effectively manage its caseload. In response to these challenges, the Deputy Chairperson of the RPD has recently issued two new practice notices. Both practice notices have an effective date of June 1, 2018, and introduce procedures relating to the disclosure of evidence.
- Notice to Parties and Counsel Appearing Before the Refugee Protection Division: Late Disclosure
Parties who wish to file documentary evidence with the RPD after the time limits set out in rule 34(3) of the Refugee Protection Division Rules (RPD Rules) must seek permission by making an application. This practice notice does not change the factors set out in the RPD Rules for accepting late documents. The application does not need to be accompanied by an affidavit or statutory declaration.
- Notice to Parties and Counsel Appearing Before the Refugee Protection Division: Voluminous Country Conditions Evidence
This practice notice introduces new procedures. Parties must now make a formal application to submit country conditions evidence that exceeds 100 pages, explaining how the documents meet the requirements of the RPD Rules. This page limit is unique to country conditions evidence, and allows the member to use discretion to allow more documents in appropriate cases. The application does not need to be accompanied by an affidavit or statutory declaration.