The complainant appeared as an expert witness for the Minister at an Immigration Appeal Division hearing.
The complainant alleged that their qualifications were inappropriately and incorrectly assessed by the member. In the decision, the member made statements that questioned the complainant’s qualifications and found that the complainant was not an expert. The member was no longer employed by the Immigration and Refugee Board when the complaint was received.
The former member’s decision contained negative statements about the complainant. For example, it stated that the complainant’s curriculum vitae was misleading and that their expertise was much more limited than was suggested by their curriculum vitae. Some of the former member’s statements about the complainant could appear to be disrespectful.
However, the statements were made by the former member for the legitimate purpose of determining what weight to give to the complainant’s testimony. As such, they relate to the former member’s decision-making and exercise of adjudicative discretion, not to the conduct of the former member.
Consistent with the recommendation of the Office of the Ombudsperson, the Chairperson decided that this complaint relates to the exercise of adjudicative discretion and not to the member’s conduct. As per section 3 of the
Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member, complaints related to the exercise of the member’s adjudicative discretion are not investigated. Members are independent decision-makers; therefore, their adjudicative independence must be unfettered. The appropriate forum for concerns about adjudicative discretion is the associated appeals division or the Federal Court.
The complaint was dismissed, and the file was closed.