LAO improves services for refugees and immigrants based on province-wide consultations with service providers
Thursday, January 16, 2014
LAO is responding to feedback received from refugee stakeholders by improving its processes for delivering refugee services as follows:
- redistributing Refugee Protection Division (RPD) tariff hours to give lawyers, as they have requested, more tariff hours for Basis of Claim (BOC) preparation
- providing, when necessary, refugee/immigration service coverage for a person who needs a lawyer for two or more legal matters at the same time
- allowing discretion to cover certain post-hearing submissions on questions for certification in Federal Court appeals.
Redistribution of Refugee Protection Division (RPD) tariff hours
Effective Feb. 3, 2014, LAO will redistribute the 16 RPD tariff hours now available for refugee lawyers to more accurately reflect the allocation of time required for BOC and hearing preparation. LAO will authorize certificates for:
- a maximum of seven hours (up from the former limit of five hours) for BOC preparation and
- a maximum of nine hours (down from the former limit of 11 hours) to amend BOC certificates for hearing preparation.
Certificates issued before February 2014 (and amendments based on those certificates) will continue to authorize five hours for BOC preparation and 11 hours for hearing preparation.
Disbursement allowances for RPD certificates will remain the same.
Concurrent refugee/immigration service coverage
Effective immediately, LAO will fund, where there is merit, multiple refugee and/or immigration services at the same time, based on the recommendation of LAO staff experienced in refugee and immigration law.
How your clients can request concurrent coverage
Clients can contact the Client Service Centre (CSC) to apply for legal aid coverage for two concurrent refugee and/or immigration services. LAO staff will base their decision on whether:
- the failure to support both matters concurrently could deprive someone of a legal remedy for one matter
- the failure to pursue two matters concurrently could result in the loss of someone’s legal right(s) due to lack of clarity in the law(s)
- the chance of success in one matter significantly depends on concurrently pursuing another matter.
How you can request concurrent coverage
Lawyers with a certificate for one refugee and/or immigration service who are seeking concurrent coverage for another, or who are seeking coverage for two services for the same client, can fax:
- (where clients live in Ottawa:) the Ottawa District Office
- (all other clients:) the GTA District Office.
Discretion available for submissions on Federal Court questions for certification
Effective immediately, lawyers can apply for discretion to cover the time they need to make a submission, in writing, for a Federal Court post-hearing appeal based on potential “serious questions of general importance.”
Counsel can apply for this discretion coverage by completing the District Area Director exception request section on the discretion request form.
For questions or further information, please contact: