47 Ottawa L. Rev. 1 (2015-2016)
Troubling Signs: Mapping Access to Justice in Canada's Refugee System Reform

handle is hein.journals/ottlr47 and id is 9 raw text is: 




Troubling Signs: Mapping Access to Justice in Canada's

Refugee System Reform


Emily Bates, Jennifer Bond & David Wiseman


IN 2012, CANADA'S REFUGEE system
underwent a significant transforma-
tion. Throughout the period of reform,
refugee advocates, researchers and
support workers expressed concern
that the changes would individually and
cumulatively exacerbate existing access
to justice deficits for refugee claimants.
Drawing on experience from the authors'
involvement with the University of Ot-
tawa Refugee Assistance Project, as well
as dedicated supplementary research,
this paper begins by outlining a social
context conception of access to justice
and then ekplores how access to justice
issues were considered as part of the
refugee system reform process, includ-
ing what deficits experts foresaw arising
as a result of that reform. The paper
then details institutional responses
to the new system, before providing
insights on the access to justice deficits
experts indicated refugees were actually
experiencing two years after imple-
mentation of key reforms. This analysis
draws on a variety of primary and
secondary sources, including an actual
claimant file which is used to both ex-
plore key access to justice concerns and
illustrate the vital importance of more
in-depth study in this area.


EN 2012, LE SYSTEME canadien de trai-
tement des r6fugi6s a fait lobjet d'une
r6forme majeure. Tout au long de cette
p6riode de r6forme, les avocats, les
chercheurs et les travailleurs de soutien
en matibre de droits des r6fugi6s, ont
exprim6 de vives pr6occupations quant
Sl'incidence de ces changements. Ils
ont en effet insistd sur le fait qu'ils
risquaient d'exacerber de fagon L la fois
individuelle et collective les obstacles et
d6ficits l'acc~s h la justice pour les de-
mandeurs du statut de r6fugi6. A partir
.de l'exp6rience que les auteurs tirent de
leur participation au Projet d'assistance
pour les rdfugi6s h l'Universit6 d'Ottawa,
ainsi que de leurs recherches approfon-
dies compl6mentaires, ils amorcent leur
article en replagant la conception de l'ac-
c~s 6 lajustice dans son contexte social
et explorent ensuite la mani~re dont les
questions d'acck  la justice ont t6
considdres comme partie int6grante
du processus de rdforme du syst~me de
traitement des r6fugi~s, ce qui com-
prend les lacunes que les experts entre-
voient en cons~quence de cette rdforme.
L'article d6taille ensuite les r6ponses
institutionnelles h ce nouveau syst~me,
avant de fournir des pistes de rdflexion
concernant les obstacles h l'accbs h la
justice auxquels, selon les spdcialistes,
les r6fugids se heurtent dans la r~alit6
deux ans apr~s la mise en vigueur des
principales rdformes. Cette analyse
se fonde sur une diversit6 de sources
primaires et secondaires, notamment
un autheritique dossier de demande de

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