Errors in Immigration Processing

As a firm who handles immigration litigation, one of our long time challenges has been to respond to clients who are told that pursuing litigation of negative decisions by immigration officials is futile. We have always stated that it is not. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) does make mistakes, and the following article by Nicholas Keung in the Toronto Star – ‘High error rate’ found in Canada’s immigration processing – proves it.  To read the full article:


Of particular interest is this quote by a union representative for the CIC employees – “The government keeps changing its policies. It is a challenge to keep up with all the changes that come every other week“. We have argued that precise fact before the Federal Court recently. We have long argued that these constant changes to policy are detrimental to the Rule of Law. It goes against the fundamental Canadian value of good governance, as such changes bring uncertainty and confusion not only for the applicants and counsel, but clearly to those charged with administering the law as well.

It has long been a contention of luminary legal scholars such as Joseph Raz and Lon Fuller that such actions are in breach of the Rule of Law, and lead to the failure of legal systems (Lon L. Fuller The Morality of Law (Revised ed., Yale University Press, New Haven, 1969) 33–38). Professor Fuller criticized such government actions and believed that “inconsistent adjudication”, failure to properly publicize changes in the law, rules that are hard to understand, retrospective legislation, contradictions in the law, unreasonable demands on the applicants, and inconsistency between the stated intent of legislation and the decisions made by those charged with making decisions under the legislation, all lead to the failure of a legal system. This article makes it clear that many of these criticized government actions seem to be happening with immigration here in Canada. So the question is: despite all of its touted successes, is the system on the way to failure if it keeps on its present course ?