What happens in an appeal and who participates?
In most cases, there is no oral hearing. The Refugee Appeal Division reviews the documents filed and makes a decision. These documents include the required forms, any evidence, and written arguments.
The Refugee Appeal Division can decide to have an oral hearing if the evidence filed:
- raises a serious issue about the claimant’s credibility,
- is central to the decision, and
- if accepted, would justify allowing or rejecting the refugee protection claim.
In most cases, a single member of the Refugee Appeal Division decides the appeal. Sometimes, there is a three-member panel. In this case, the Refugee Appeal Division must notify the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
If the claimant is appealing, the Minister has the right to ‘intervene’ and participate in the appeal. This intervention can happen at any time before the Refugee Appeal Division makes a decision. The Minister must provide the claimant and the Division with:
- A ‘notice of intervention’
- Any evidence they want to rely on.
- An ‘intervention record’. This gives the reasons the Minister is intervening and says what decision the Minister wants the Division to make.
If an appeal is being heard by a three-member panel, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees may file submissions.