Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

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This report presents findings from a study exploring relationships between refugee legal aid, quality of counsel, the fairness and efficiency of asylum procedures, and access to justice for refugee claimants in Canada. Legal scholars, jurists and legal associations across Canada have recognized an access to justice “crisis”. The crisis extends to refugee claimants, and is exacerbated by unique vulnerabilities and barriers to justice. This report defines access to justice for refugee claimants in Canada as early and affordable access to high-quality legal representation to both prepare claims and appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board, without systemic or economic barriers; to fully participate in and understand the refugee status determination process; to obtain just and fair outcomes in a timely and efficient manner; and to have recourse for poor quality or abusive representation.

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