Improving Claims Resolution: Alternative Processes in Canada's Immigration System
Melanson, Nicole M.
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This thesis argues that alternative dispute resolution processes form a vital part of Canada’s immigration and refugee claims determination system. Using an analytical framework that draws on dispute resolution and relational feminist theory, it explores how alternative processes provide advantages over adversarial ones for claims that engage issues of power and relationships. By aligning claims with appropriate processes, system administrators can improve the fairness, efficiency and durability of resolutions. Introductory Chapters describe the administrative law structure that governs immigration and refugee claims in Canada, and the Immigration Appeal Division’s Early Resolution program. This unique initiative integrates alternative processes into the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s existing appellate structure. Subsequent Chapters assess how this initiative fares against the relevant scholarship. Strengths and challenges of the current system are highlighted. Concluding sections demonstrate how enhancements to the (i) accessibility of information; (ii) clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of system actors; and (iii) flexibility in the breadth and depth of available alternative process options, can improve the experience of system users.