June 29, 2012
Numerous initiatives were implemented by the IAD during the 2011-2012 fiscal year to manage the case inventory through innovative adjudicative and case management strategies. The IAD maximized on opportunities to resolve appeals as early as possible without a hearing. Paper processes and mediated pre-hearing conferences allow members to finalize appeals without hearings and tribunal officers focused on mediated resolutions such as early informal resolution (EIR) and alternate dispute resolution (ADR). The Central Region initiated a backlog clearance project where previously screened files were triaged a second time and screened into ADR where appropriate. The project was successful in addressing older inventory and permitted the mediation program in the region to continue to operate in a reasonable capacity.
The IAD had previously implemented a hearing process in which Minister’s Counsel could appear by way of written submissions for residency obligation appeals. A successful pilot program was also undertaken in the Central Region which allowed Minister’s Counsel to participate in select sponsorship appeals by the same method. The IAD will continue to liaise with CBSA to encourage continued participation where appropriate by way of written submissions only and to encourage higher numbers of ADR conferences and mediated resolutions.
In the case of removal order appeals the Assignment Court and Stay Court process in the Central region is effective in facilitating the occasions when CBSA is willing to negotiate with the appellant for a stay of removal order with conditions. The Western and Eastern regions are considering implementing a similar model. Other steps to increase efficiency are the innovative scheduling of end-of-stay reviews in batches for quick resolution in the Central Region, the resolution of selected removal order appeals through the ADR program and pre-hearing conferences in the Western region and the utilization of In-chambers proceedings to consider joint recommendations for stays of removal in the Eastern region. In addition, the IAD continues its inter-regional case inventory management plan with greater use of video conferencing and strategic sharing of members across regions to address inventory volume in the Central region and to ensure that the member complement is fully utilized in periods when CBSA resourcing challenges presented.