LAO Newsroom

Update: LAO interim measures for refugee law services

Posted on: Monday, March 11, 2013

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) would like to provide lawyers with further details on the interim processes for refugee law services, as previously announced in January and expanded last month.

LAO’s Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) pilot

If eligible for RAD, clients whose claims at the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) have been denied can apply for legal aid to have either a private or an LAO lawyer represent them at the RAD.

To determine whether there are grounds for an appeal, LAO must receive copies of the following:

  • the RAD merit assessment form
  • the Basis of Claim form (if not previously provided to LAO or amended prior to hearing)
  • the decision by the RPD
  • any additional documents that may help LAO in making its decision.

All RAD applications, including those from LAO's Refugee Law Office in Toronto and Ottawa, are to be forwarded to the GTA District office. The applications will be put before LAO’s RAD review committee to determine the appeal’s likelihood of success and merit. The committee – made up of private lawyers, clinics, and LAO staff knowledgeable in refugee law – will provide its decision within three business days of receiving each application.

LAO will pay up to 16 hours for the preparation of the RAD written submissions. As well, in the rare case that the Refugee Appeal Division calls for an oral hearing, lawyers will be paid up to four hours plus the time spent attending the Immigration Refugee Board. LAO does not compensate for merit assessments upfront. However, if merit assessment services have been provided without a retainer and there is merit to the application for appeal, LAO will pay retroactively up to four hours for work completed.

LAO’s RAD pilot has a fixed budget of $500,000 and will run from Mar. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2013, with a possible six-month extension if there are sufficient funds. LAO will be reviewing the pilot to assess the costs and benefits for clients. This assessment will inform LAO’s longer-term strategy for refugee appeals.



If you have any questions or require further information please contact:

Jawad Kassab,
Director Corporate Services, Planning & Strategic Initiatives

Maureen Hastings
Director, Administration, Civil and Immigration Law Services (GTA Region)