Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)

Only members of Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) refugee and immigration appellate panel can acknowledge Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) certificates and represent LAO clients at the RAD.

LAO now issues a RAD four-hour merit assessment opinion certificate to eligible clients.

All appellate panel members must use the RAD merit assessment form. Failure to use the form will result in a delay in the processing of merit assessments and payments. LAO staff members who are experienced in refugee law review the merit assessments. Should LAO determine there is merit, appellate panel members will be issued a 16-hour authorization for written submissions to review a negative RPD decision. If the RAD goes to an oral hearing, LAO will grant four hours preparation time plus attendance.

Appellate panel members who complete an opinion but who are unable or unwilling to perfect the application can request LAO issue a separate RAD certificate to the lawyer perfecting the RAD application.

All appellate panel members must attach the RAD submissions and the decision under review to their online account. You do not need to attach the RAD submissions to the online account if you have already sent them as part of your merit assessment application. Periodic audits of these legal work products will be carried out by panel officers as part of LAO’s quality oversight function.

As certificate coverage for RAD opinion certificates is now in effect, appellate panel members cannot charge privately (fees, disbursements) for the purposes of completing an opinion for RAD for claimants who are legal aid eligible.