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Judicial Review 

All decisions by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are reviewable by the Federal Court through a process known as Judicial Review. Essentially, it is the process by which the Federal Court reviews the decision of IRCC and the IRB to determine whether the decision maker followed a fair procedure, understood the facts of the case, and acted within their given authority. As outlined by Justice Stratas in Budlakoti v. Canada (C.I), 2015 FCA 139, and as per the Immigration, Refugees and Protection Act (IRPA), the Courts should be approached as a last resort after all appeal rights have been exhausted.


An Application for Leave and for Judicial Review must be filed in a timely manner. Federal Court deadlines are strict and must be met in order to prevent unwanted consequences. For matters arising within Canada, the applicant must file the application within 15 days and if outside, 60 days after the date on which the applicant became aware of the decision. If the deadline has passed, the applicant may still be able to request an extension of time to file the application. 


The Judicial Review process consists of two stages: The Leave stage and the Judicial Review stage. During the Leave stage, the applicant is required to submit compelling legal arguments detailing the unreasonable and improper approaches applied in rendering the decision. The Court will then determine whether the matter has merit by reviewing the information that was before the decision maker, as well as the arguments advanced. If the application is dismissed at the Leave stage, reasons for the decision are not provided and the decision will be final, meaning there is no further recourse regarding that matter.


If the application is granted however, the matter will proceed to the Judicial Review stage where the applicant or counsel  will be provided the opportunity to attend a hearing to make oral submissions. The applicant may file further arguments and may rarely be cross-examined. The decision at the hearing may be given at the end of the hearing, or may otherwise be reserved by the Judge, meaning released at a later date. 


During the initial phases for both stages of the process, the Department of Justice may provide an offer to settle the matter. This offer usually requires the applicant to discontinue the matter before the Court after which the negative decision will be quashed, and the applicant permitted to make additional submissions to the immigration application which is usually reassessed and redetermined by a different officer. 

Need Help?  For more information on challenging a negative decision before the Federal Court, contact us using our contact form.

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