Answering questions at the hearing
The claimant will be asked to make a declaration or take an oath to swear that they will tell the truth during the hearing.
The claimant will then be asked to confirm that the Basis of Claim Form they filed is complete, true, and accurate. If an interpreter helped in filling out the Basis of Claim Form, the claimant will be asked to confirm that the entire form, including any amendments, was read to them and that they understood it.
As early as possible in the hearing, the claimant should say something if:
- They did not get a complete, detailed interpretation of the entire Basis of Claim Form or
- There are any mistakes in the Basis of Claim Form or
- The claimant did not agree to everything in the Basis of Claim Form before they signed it.
Once a claimant has confirmed that the information in the Basis of Claim Form is complete, true, and accurate, they will have to explain any new information that does not correspond to it. This may hurt the claimant's credibility.
For most of the hearing, the claimant will be answering questions about their claim. When a claimant is represented by counsel, they are questioned first by the Refugee Protection Division member and then by the claimant's counsel.
If Minister’s counsel is taking part in the hearing, they will ask questions first, followed by the Refugee Protection Division member, and then the claimant's counsel.
In special cases, the claimant's counsel may ask to have the order of questioning changed so that they can question the claimant first. This might be the case if the claimant is a vulnerable person or has a designated representative.