Case No. 21-001

The complainant appeared as a self-represented appellant at a hearing before the Immigration Appeal Division. The complaint focused primarily on allegations about Minister's counsel during the hearing. The complainant was informed that the IRB's complaint process does not address concerns about Minister's counsel.

As regards the member, the complainant alleged that the member was biased and treated the complainant unfairly. More specifically, it was alleged that:

  • The member did not interject to point out the inappropriateness of comments made by Minister's counsel, yet the member was quick to challenge the complainant when the complainant was questioning their witness, suggesting that the complainant was eliciting answers (i.e., asking leading questions)
  • The member had already come to a conclusion before the member heard testimony from the complainant's spouse

After reviewing the complaint, and consistent with the recommendation of the Ombudsperson, the Chairperson decided to dismiss the complaint under the Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member because none of the allegations were within scope.

The complaint alleged that the member was biased. An allegation that is framed in bias will be accepted for investigation under the complaint process if the allegation concerns member misconduct (for example, an inappropriate comment or action by a member related to discrimination based on gender, race, etc.). The allegations of bias in this case fall outside the scope of the complaints process because they do not relate to member conduct but rather to how the member exercised their adjudicative discretion in controlling the hearing.

The allegation related to the member's interjections to prevent the complainant from asking leading questions also relates to the exercise of the member's adjudicative discretion, not member conduct. The audio recording of the hearing shows that the member respectfully indicated that the complainant could not ask leading questions. The member recognized that the complainant is not a lawyer and made significant efforts to explain how the complainant should frame their questions.

The complaint was dismissed, and the file was closed.