Notable Cases

Suresh v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 SCC 1

This Supreme Court of Canada case looked at the protections available to a refugee at risk of being deported to torture. Michael Battista acted as counsel for the Intervenor, Amnesty International. Michael argued that there is an absolute prohibition on torture in customary international law. The Court relied on his submissions at paragraphs 61 to 65 of its decision.

 

Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina, 2019 SCC 29

This Supreme Court of Canada case looked at the limitations in Canada’s system of immigration detention. Michael Battista and Adrienne Smith appeared as counsel for the Intervener, EGALE, to argue that the inability of the Immigration Division to consider the conditions of detention in relation to a person’s sexual orientation and identity should allow access to habeas corpus.

Majebi v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FCA 274

Adrienne Smith appeared as counsel in this Federal Court of Appeal case.  She argued that the Refugee Appeal Board is permitted under law to assess new evidence of exclusion from the Refugee Convention definition under Article 1E of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Bouzari v. Iran, 2004 CanLII 871 (ON CA)

In this Ontario Court of Appeal Case, the court looked at whether a civil action is permitted against a foreign state for the deprivation of the security of the person. Michael Battista again appeared as counsel for the Intervenor, Amnesty International, to argue that the jurisdiction for the right to sue in Ontario for torture by a foreign state should be universal.

McKenzie v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2019 FC 555

This Federal Court case looks at the importance of IRB Member’s considering the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Guidelines when assessing refugee claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Adrienne Smith, appearing as counsel for the Applicant, argued that the Refugee Appeal Division did not sufficiently consider the guidelines outlining the challenges faced by individuals in trying to establish their sexual orientation. Ms. Smith argued that the inability of the Applicant to provide documentation about his identity as a gay man was hindered by his position as a religious leader in a country with documented violence and torture against the LGBTQ community.

Ravichandran v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2018 FC 811

This Federal Court case looks at the factors that a Visa Office should consider when determining whether an applicant meets the Convention refugee definition. Adrienne Smith, for the Applicant, argued for the importance of adequately assessing all of the evidence presented by the Applicants. The Federal Court allowed the application for judicial review on the grounds, as argued by Adrienne Smith, that the Officer at High Commission of Canada in New Delhi failed to provide sufficient reasons for the rejection. The Applicants were three young adults who had experienced torture and violence in Sri Lanka.

Reis v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), 2018 FC 1289

This Federal Court case considers the factors when conducting credibility assessments of refugee claimants in Canada. Pablo Irribarra appeared for the Applicant to argue that the Refugee Protection Division was unreasonable in its findings of a lack of credibility and trustworthiness in both oral testimony and documentary evidence.

Nwabueze v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2017 FC 323

This application for judicial review beforethe Federal Court looks at what happens when two different immigration officers reach a different decision on the same immigration matter. Appearing for the Applicant, Adrienne Smith argued for the importance of providing consistent and predictable reasons for a decision made by an Officer.

A.B. v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2017 FC 1170

This Federal Court case looks at a family sponsorship application where one of the applicants was living with HIV. Adrienne Smith, appearing as counsel for the Intervenor, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, argued that the IAD Member’s focus and commentary on how the applicant contracted HIV perpetuates HIV-related stigma. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network works to promote human rights and dignity for people living with HIV/AIDS and HALCO (HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario) is a community-based legal clinic that provides services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario.

 

Mcintyre v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 1351

Adrienne Smith appeared as counsel for the Applicant at the Federal Court in this case. Adrienne Smith argued that the Applicant was negligently represented by his previous counsel’s failure to provide any evidence about the persecution he would face as a gay man if he were deported to Jamaica.  The Court agreed that the Applicant had met the burden of showing that “special and exceptional circumstances exist that have resulted in a breach of procedural fairness” and that “the country reports on Jamaica demonstrate a high level of risk for the LGBT community in Jamaica and gay men in particular.”

Majebi v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 14

This Federal Court case looks at the exclusion of refugee claimants who have permanent residency rights to live in a third country. Adrienne Smith appeared for the Applicant to argue that the ability of applicants to admit new evidence about their residency in a third country must be approached with flexibility to account for losses of residency rights during immigration proceedings. She also argued that the standard of review for the exclusion of refugee claimants under Article 1E should be that of correctness, rather than reasonableness.

Ravichandran v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 665

This Federal Court case looks at credibility assessments for claimants in the Convention refugee class outside of Canada. Adrienne Smith appeared for the Applicants to argue that an officer must not unreasonably question the credibility of evidence without first considering the explanations for similarities or discrepancies in evidence.

Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care v. Canada (Attorney general), 2014 FC 651

This Federal Court case engages with the 2012 changes made to the Interim Federal Health Program. Adrienne Smith appeared as counsel for the Applicants, Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, Daniel Garcia Rodrigues and Hanif Ayubi. This case argued that the changes to IFHP were unlawful, they breached Canada’s obligations under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that they are in violation of multiple sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Companioni v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2009 FC 1315

This case established a precedent allowing HIV positive immigration applicants to make the case that they are not medically inadmissible based on the costs of their medication. Michael Battista appeared for the Applicant.

X (Re), 2017 CanLII 61319 (CA IRB)

This case, heard at the Refugee Appeal Division, looks at the assessment of trustworthiness and credibility when foreign nationals are making refugee claims on the basis of sexual orientation. Adrienne Smith appeared for the Applicants to argue that the Refugee Protection Division should operate on the presumption of truth in such cases. Further, when assessing trustworthiness and credibility, the RDP erred in focusing on microscopic issues rather than looking at the evidence of the Applicants sexual identity.

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