This paper takes an institutional approach to examine justice in Canadian refugee status determination, focusing on the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) as an administrative tribunal. The IRB is viewed in the historic context of post-Second World War international rights expansion and the rise of New Public Management as an administrative paradigm.
Policies implemented by the recent Harper governments are reviewed in light of the IRB’s high permeability to executive influence and low judicial intervention; issues undermining the IRB’s substantive independence are discussed; the interaction of the IRB with other institutions in Canadian refugee status determination, such as the IRCC and CBSA, are examined in terms of venue shopping for implementing desired policy. The possibility of integrating adversarial-style hearings into the IRB while maintaining its currently centralized research and jurisprudence is proposed.
Keywords: separation of powers, refugee status determination, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, administrative tribunal, rights expansion, managerialization, New Public Management, endogeneity of law, executive
permeability, judicial intervention, venue shopping, inquisitorial hearing, adversarial hearing.