Specialized knowledge had no bearing on board’s credibility findings

Federal court | Immigration

PERSON IN NEED OF PROTECTION

Specialized knowledge had no bearing on board’s credibility findings

Refugee claimant was citizen of Albania who claimed protection based on existence of blood feud between his family and another family. Claimant submitted evidence from individual who had been discredited as fraud who provided false blood feud attestation letters in exchange for money. Board informed claimant that letters would be scrutinized in light of recent Response to Information Request (RIR) and board’s specialized knowledge. Board identified several omissions, inconsistencies and implausibilities, which led it to conclude that claimant was not credible and did not have subjective fear of persecution. Claimant applied for judicial review, contending that board made unreasonable credibility findings, and relied upon specialized knowledge during hearing without disclosing what specialized knowledge was, in contravention of Rule 22 of Refugee Protection Division Rules (Can.), thereby breaching its duty of procedural fairness. Application dismissed. Specialized knowledge of board was only based on RIR. Even if board erred in not clearly indicating its specialized knowledge as required by Rule 22, this was not sufficient basis to set aside decision as there was no reason to conclude that specialized knowledge had any bearing on board’s credibility
findings, which were clearly identified and reasonable.
Toma v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (Feb. 3, 2014, F.C., Catherine M. Kane J., File No. IMM-1799-13) 237 A.C.W.S. (3d) 186.

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