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Legal Services
Navigating the Sea of Change
Refugee Lawyers Group
February 8, 2013
Applying for Legal Aid
• Specialized intake workers
• New legal aid immigration intake phone line
• Port of entry
• Apply as soon as possible
• 15 days to complete a BOC
• Counsel must be available on hearing date (45 days or 60 days)
• Inland applications
• Claimants should apply before attending at CIC (before submitting
CIC forms and BOC)
Refugee claims volumes and
approval rates
• Since 09/10 the number of refugee claims cases has
decreased substantially – high of 1,200 applications for legal
aid to less than an anticipated 500 this fiscal year
• Approval rate for BOC applications is about 80%
• Refusals of coverage are automatically reviewed internally by
case management staff
• In addition person can request a review of a refusal of a legal
aid application (in writing) at any time
Billing for refugee referrals
• LSS Guide to Legal Aid Tariffs
• http://www.legalaid.bc.ca/lawyers/tariffGuide/immigration/
• Immigration Tariff
• Select the version of the chapter that applies to the date of
assignment on your referral.
• On or after December 15, 2012 (BOC claims)
• Before December 15, 2012 (PIF claims)
Appeals Tariff
• http://www.legalaid.bc.ca/assets/lawyers/tariffGuide/appeals/appea
Immigration tariff
Refugee Claims (BOC)
Up to 16 hours general preparation
Up to 10 hours interpreter time
Actual attendance at hearing
Up to $371 for translations
• Completion of CIC forms
• Tariff was not designed with competition of CIC forms included
• Options:
• Administrative staff (under supervision)
• Interpreters (under supervision)
• NGO form completion clinics (draft of CIC forms – reviewed by
Persons in detention: summary
• If a person contacts LSS by phone from detention LSS will
provide very basic telephone legal advice
• Those detained inland are required to complete a BOC right
• BOCs are completed with the assistance of an interpreter person usually does not have counsel
• Person may not have actually applied for legal aid
Persons in detention: legal aid
• Once a referral is made for a refugee claim counsel may need
to amend the BOC if completed at CBSA
• Our CBSA contact is Kent Zarrelli -counsel can reach him at
604.666.0042 to find out where claimants are detained.
• if counsel gets a call from person in detention call LSS to see if
case has already been assigned – avoid change of counsel
LSS duty counsel programdetention
• Attend at Library Square at 9 am –LSS e mails list of hearings the
afternoon before
• To locate interpreters call the interpreter’s room (604) 666-5910
• Provide legal advice to detainees
• Represent persons at detention hearings
• 30 day reviews- if there has been a change in circumstances that might
lead to release
• If the Minister is consenting to a release, do not attend the detention
review hearing, unless there are exceptional circumstances that require
counsel’s attendance.
• Contact [email protected] if:
• a matter is put over to another date, and you have information that would be
helpful to the duty counsel acting on that date- LSS will forward e mail to
scheduled duty counsel
• duty counsel wants a referral to represent a person at their next detention
• Duty counsel believes a second counsel is required for a particular day
Duty Counsel: Taking legal aid
Please assist LSS by completing a legal aid application form and
faxing it in to intake or by calling LSS immigration intake line.
Immigration legal aid application form available at CBSA or on
line- Duty Counsel Tariff- Appendix 5
To request a copy contact
[email protected]
RAD applications
• RPD counsel-provide an opinion regarding the merit of a RAD
appeal if requested by LSS or if in counsel’s view the case is
likely to succeed and the final result would benefit client
• Send a copy of the decision to LSS appeals
• LSS preference is for counsel at RPD to act as counsel on the
• Responding to Ministers appeals most likely will be covered
• Can apply for legal aid after receiving oral decision however
LSS might need to wait to review a copy of the written reasons
• RAD approvals through LSS appeals department
• Bill in accordance with LSS appeals tariff
Judicial reviews and other post
claim relief
Applications have increased
Apply to LSS appeals department
Bill in accordance with Appeals Tariff
Check authorizations on referral
E- billing and authorizations
• E authorizations introduced in January 2013
• Use this to request authorization for disbursements (other
than transcripts)
• Response from LSS is by email
• New phone number for questions about tariff services (now
called lawyer services)
• 1-888-401 6206
• For more information see January Legal Aid Brief on the LSS
Update on Sun Sea Cases
• LSS continues to fund some refugee claims at the RPD
• Judicial Reviews of refugee claims ( positive and negative
• Interpretation of section 37 (1) b) IRPA – “people smuggling”
before the FCA
• Interpretation of section 117 (1) “organizing entry into
Anticipated legal challenges
• PRRA and H&C one year ( or 36 month) bar
• Procedural fairness re: extensions to file BOCs, request for
hearing postponements, abandonment proceedings, time
• Reopening grounds limited
• Designated countries of origin regime
• Designated Foreign Nationals – detention
• RAD- limited access, standard of review, RAD- asymmetrical
regime (minister as appellant compared to claimant as
Information Sharing
• Circulate information by e mail
• LSS hidden website for Sun Sea arrivals is no longer being
• Ontario Refugee Lawyers Association
• Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL)
Public legal education
• Flow chart
• Book mark
• translations of BOC
• Refugee claim guide
• Self representation
LSS contact information-intake
• By phone
• Legal aid immigration line (specialized intake workers)
• 604-601-6076
• 1-888-601-6076
• In person
• Vancouver legal aid office
• Suite 425 510 Burrard Street
• Vancouver
[email protected]
• 8:30 to 4:30
• except Wednesday 8:30 to 12:30
LSS contact informationappeals
• Phone
• 604-601-6085
• Email
• [email protected]
• Fax
• 604-682-0956

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