New Policy on the Use of Chairperson’s Guidelines and Jurisprudential Guides

​​​The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has updated its policy suite by amalgamating key elements of the Policy on the use of Chairperson's Guidelines and the Policy on the Use of Jurisprudential Guides. Careful analysis of the two former policies identified significant overlap and an opportunity to simplify our policy framework while contributing to our goals of ensuring quality and consistency in adjudicative decision-making.

The new policy follows the same structure as the two previous policies but adds a new statement of expectation for members regarding the use of jurisprudential guides. This statement makes explicit the longstanding expectation that members will follow the jurisprudential guides unless compelling or exceptional reasons exist to depart from them. This adjustment follows a recent Federal Court of Appeal​ decision that confirms the Chairperson of the IRB has the authority to issue jurisprudential guides. The same decision further confirms that the statement of expectation does not fetter the adjudicative independence of members in making decisions fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the law.

The Policy on the Use of Chairperson's Guidelines and Jurisprudential Guides articulates:

  • A framework that guides the exercise of the Chairperson's authority;
  • The effect of guidelines and jurisprudential guides;
  • The process for deciding to issue a guideline or identify a decision as a jurisprudential guide; and
  • The process for revising a guideline or revoking a guideline or jurisprudential guide.