Update on LAO refugee and immigration service providers and panel standards

Friday, June 3, 2016

Updated: Thursday, June 9, 2016

LAO has processed 95 per cent of all applications to its refugee panels, based on its strengthened refugee and immigration panel standards. As of May 24, 2016, 419 lawyers had applied to the refugee panel, and of these, 413 applied to the general panel and 318 applied to the appellate panel. A total of 303 lawyers have been approved, some with conditions such as working with a mentor and taking courses. Go to the list of empanelled refugee and immigration lawyers, as of June 9, 2016 (subject to change).

LAO has been working with refugee agencies, the Refugee Lawyers’ Association and members of the private bar to develop these strengthened standards since 2014.

Implementation of the strengthened standards began in January 2015. All refugee panel lawyers were required to apply for the general and/or the appellate standards by completing a panel standards application and submitting samples of written legal work related to these practice areas.

Clients will benefit

“LAO staff lawyers and members of the private bar are better equipped to deliver high quality, cost-effective and efficient refugee and immigration services to highly vulnerable clients through participation in the panel standards process,” says Jawad A. Kassab, Executive Lead, LAO’s Refugee and Immigration Program — GTA.

“The emphasis on high quality will ensure better client outcomes, reduce the number of appeals and judicial reviews of negative decisions, and also foster greater public confidence.”

Learn more


Jawad A. Kassab - LLB, MDiv, MBA
Executive lead, Refugee and Immigration Program – GTA
Legal Aid Ontario
Telephone: (416) 979-1446 x4705
Fax: (416) 979-2948
Email: kassabja@lao.on.ca