- Continue training on high-quality decision writing, with an emphasis on point-first and issue-based writing, writing for the losing side and providing a pithy summary of the decision in the opening paragraphs.
|Yes||Training on issue-based, point-first and plain language decision writing has been provided at the RAD. The RAD will also be implementing Writing Workshops on a going-forward basis in FY22-23, which will address this and recommendations #2, #6, #7, and #9. ||RAD-Quality Centre (QC)||Q1 FY22-23 for first workshops|
- Provide training on writing convincing reasons in cases where the underlying claim is weak or poorly articulated.
|Yes||Training on writing convincing reasons is provided in New Member Training and will be reinforced and furthered on a going forward basis in RAD Writing Workshops.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 for first workshops|
- Provide training on presumptions (such as the presumption of truthfulness) which are central to Members' work, to ensure that Members appreciate the content of the presumptions and the factors relevant to rebutting the presumptions in the context of a particular case.
|Yes||Training on presumptions is provided in RAD New Member Training (NMT). RAD QC will revisit training to ensure that materials on presumptions are sufficiently clear and prominent.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23|
- Highlight, in continuing professional development seminars, decisions where the Member has done a particularly good job of linking factual findings to evidence.
|Yes||Decisions that effectively link factual findings to evidence are already highlighted through the identification of RAD Reasons of Interest. These will be highlighted in jurisprudential update professional development sessions.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23|
- Consider developing strategies, perhaps in the form of internal checklists, to ensure that all relevant issues are considered on appeal.
- RAD QC to review the RAD's Framework for Analysis, which is a framework that provides members with strategies to ensure relevant issues are considered on appeal.
- Any revisions to the framework will be circulated to Members, together with a reminder to review the framework to ensure that all relevant issues are considered.
- When Members address points in the interests of responsiveness, they should explain that the points are not necessary to the outcome.
|Partially – the RAD accepts that it is beneficial to identify non-determinative issues when they are considered in an appeal but prefers to focus training on
limiting decisions to determinative issues.||The RAD's planned Writing Workshops will address techniques for writing on determinative issues.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 for first workshops|
- Strategies should be developed for writing transparent and intelligible reasons in cases where the underlying claim is somewhat weak or poorly articulated.
|Yes||The RAD's planned Writing Workshops will include strategies for writing transparent and intelligible reasons in all cases, including those where the underlying claim is poorly articulated. ||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 for first workshops|
- Where overlap arises between different issues, Members should take care to cross-reference paragraphs of their reasons which address the same or similar issues and to explain why the treatment of the issues is (or is not) distinct.
|Yes||RAD will encourage Members and their Assistants to enhance cross-referencing paragraphs that deal with similar issues. Where a member appears to treat like issues differently, RAD will also encourage members to explain why this is the case.||DCO-OPS||FY22-23|
- Members should also consider how to strike an appropriate balance between shortness and economy, and responsiveness. There is no easy answer here, as there is an inevitable tension between shortness and economy, and responsiveness. One possibility is to briefly explain why certain arguments were not responded to, because of their lack of relevance.
|Yes||Writing with a view to balancing economy and responsiveness is already provided in RAD New Member Training. It will also be addressed in the RAD's Workshops on Issues-Based, Point-First and Plain-Language Writing.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 for first workshops|
- When an issue is raised by an appellant but is not relevant, Members should provide an explanation in the reasons as to why the issue does not need to be addressed.
|Partially – The RAD sees the need for members to address relevant issues, and even borderline relevant issues, but is also of the view that in many circumstances Members need not explicitly consider plainly irrelevant issues.||While RAD Members are instructed that they may disregard plainly irrelevant issues, training will be provided to Members as to how to best address issues that may be of minimal relevance, but still require a response. ||RAD-QC||Q3 FY22-23 to coincide with new member appointments |
- The RAD should reiterate to Members the need to conduct an independent assessment rather than simply a review of alleged errors by the RPD: alleged errors open the door to an appeal, but an independent assessment should be conducted to ensure finality. The RAD (and perhaps the IRB as a whole) should consider reformulating its advice to appellants and maybe even the forms provided to appellants with a view to signaling that the RAD's role is not simply to correct errors made by the RPD but to conduct an independent assessment of the appellant's entitlement to refugee status.
|Partially – The RAD generally accepts this recommendation, but notes that it does not advise appellants.|
- The RAD will review its new member training materials to ensure that RAD members are aware of the requirement to conduct an independent assessment.
- The RAD will review and update (if necessary) materials shared in its communications with Appellants to ensure appellants are made aware of the function of the RAD, which is to provide an independent assessment.
|RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 for NMT.|
Q1 for Ready Tour review
Likely FY-23-24 for full website and forms review
- Members should be reminded that their decisions can give useful guidance to the RPD, for example in assessing the genuineness of religious convictions or the authenticity of a particular type of document.
|Yes||A principal way in which RAD decisions provide such guidance is through its Reasons of Interest tool. RAD will reiterate to Members to submit their decisions for consideration as ROI if they believe it may provide useful guidance to the RPD.||RAD QC||Q2 FY22-23|
- Where the RPD's findings and/or the appellant's submissions do not assist the Member in performing an independent assessment of the refugee claim, the Member should explain why the findings and/or submissions are unhelpful and proceed to perform an independent assessment of the claim.
|Partially - As in Recommendation 10, while this may be of assistance in some cases, in other cases, the RAD is of the view that taking time to outline 'unhelpful' findings or submissions is not necessary to a reasonable outcome and is not efficient. ||The RAD will review its NMT on independent assessment to ensure that it identifies any instances where identifying unhelpful submissions or findings may be beneficial. ||RAD QC||Q1 FY22-23|
- Training on intersectionality and cultural competence are evidently achieving excellent results and, accordingly, should continue.
|Yes||Training on intersectionality and cultural competence will continue – they are included in the RAD's intensive training on Guideline 4, and will further continue in the future.||RAD QC||Q1 FY22-23|
- Strategies should be developed to address the tension between the need for an independent assessment and the need for responsiveness.
|Yes||The RAD will review its new member training materials to ensure that RAD members are aware of the requirement to conduct an independent assessment, and to be responsive to issues raised by the parties.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23|
- The RAD should consider putting in place protocols for ensuring that identifying information is removed from decisions under the SOGIE rubric. A large and liberal approach would be appropriate in this regard, given the possibility that information may be used by persecutors.
|Yes - Chairperson's Guideline 9 includes guidance for ensuring that identifying information is removed from SOGIE decisions where possible. ||RAD to train members on privacy and removing identifying information as much as possible.||RAD-QC||Q1FY22-23 |
- The RAD should reinforce Members' awareness of SOGIE characteristics, especially the risk that traumatic experiences will lead to the giving of testimony which may be perceived to be vague or contradictory.
|Yes - Chairperson's Guideline 9 includes information about the difficulties that SOGIESC individuals may experience in testifying.||RAD to train members on the impact of traumatic experiences on testimony.||RAD-QC||Q1 FY22-23 |