Tribunal appeals are entirely dependent on the facts and the decison under review. We have handled appeals where the Officer or Decision-Maker has clearly made a mistake in law and/or fact. In some cases, we need to fix a mistake made by the tribunal. These cases still require significant work to lay out all the issues in a clear and concise manner for the appeal to succeed; however, these have a good chance at success. Other cases are more complex and when we submit our package for the appeal, we cross our fingers and hope that our arguments are strong enough for a positive decision. This case fell in the latter category and we are very pleased to report our tribunal appeal was granted.
Tribunal Appeal to the RAD
The RAD deals with decisions made by the RPD. In this case, we represented this family at the RPD and their claim for protection was refused. Based on the documentation and testimony at the tribunal, this was a complex case; however, in my view, they met the definition per section 96 or 97 of IRPA. The RPD Member disagreed and refused their claim.
We submitted significant legal arguments to the RAD and we were successful upon appeal. In the decision, the RAD Member Jennifer Moore clearly agreed with our arguments:
 The Appellants argue that the RPD misinterpreted the evidence about adoption in Igbo culture, and that it failed to sufficiently consider the actual risk faced by the Appellants based on their particular circumstances. I agree and find that the suggestion made by the RPD, that the Appellants could simply adopt a child from one of their siblings to be confusing and is not supported by any of the evidence. Even if a sibling was prepared to supply a child, the Appellants provided evidence that adopted children are not considered the same as biological children in Igbo culture.
The decision by the RAD is extremely detailed and analyses the country condition evidence as well as the documents and testimony for this particular case.
Alastair Clarke has appeared before the tribunal hundreds of times over the past 13 years. He has also given numerous training sessions for lawyers and advocates. Of note, the IRB has made requests for Mr. Clarke to give advice to lawyers in Manitoba to raise the level of representation in our province. He has also presented alongside representatives from UNHCR to give training to lawyers. Tribunal appeal work is not easy; however, positive results are extremely rewarding.
When we told our clients of the RAD decision, they screamed with joy. We are happy to help.