Federal Court deals another blow to refugee system
OTTAWA — The Federal Court says treating refugee claimants differently depending on their country of origin marginalizes, prejudices and stereotypes applicants — and, in one aspect, violates their charter rights. In another blow to the Conservatives’ overhaul of the refugee determination process, the court has ruled that denying claimants from certain countries the right to appeal decisions is clearly discrimination on the basis of national origin. Among other things, the government had argued the system was not discriminatory because the country itself is not the test, but whether or not the country’s characteristics make it a safe place. But Justice Keith Boswell disagrees and is also refusing to grant the government’s request to suspend his decision for 12 months, ruling that each day the current system is in force is another day in which refugee claimants’ rights are being denied.