Research Paper Number
access to justice; adjudication; administrative law; Canada; empirical legal studies; Federal Court; immigration law; public law; Refugee law
This article offers an empirical examination of judicial review in Canada’s Federal Court in the refugee law context. Drawing on a dataset of over 23,000 applications for judicial review of refugee determinations from 2005 to 2010, the paper examines whether outcomes in these life-and-death applications turn on their merits, or whether, instead, they hinge on which judge is assigned to decide the application. The paper reveals that outcomes over the past five years frequently came down to the luck of the draw, with, for example, one judge more than 50 times as likely to grant applications than another judge. Based on these findings, the author offers several recommendations for reform to enhance fairness and consistency in this important area of law.
Rehaag, Sean, "Judicial Review of Refugee Determinations: The Luck of the Draw?" (2012). Comparative Research in Law & Political Economy. Research Paper No. 9/2012.