- The IRB has implemented new guidelines related to the conduct of hearings;
- Many of the provisions contained in these guidelines will result in a denial of refugee claimants' right to be heard and right to counsel;
- The IRB has implemented these guidelines in a clear attempt to increase the efficiency of the Board without consideration of the negative impact these guidelines will have on claimants' ability to get a fair hearing;
- The CCR has previously passed a resolution (15, Nov. 1998) on video-conferencing of refugee hearings;
Therefore be it resolved
That the CCR call upon the IRB to:
- Withdraw the requirement that the Refugee Protection Officer or Member examine a claimant prior to the claimant's counsel.
- Withdraw the ability of the IRB to schedule hearings without regard to counsel's calendars.
- Direct Members not to impose a video-conferencing hearing on a claimant in the face of a claimant's objection.
- Amend the guidelines to delete the direction to Board members to restrict the length and content of a claimant’s counsel’s submissions.
- Add clear guidelines on the treatment of vulnerable claimants in the Guidelines on the Conduct of Hearings.