Representation for Immigrants and Refugee Claimants

Appendix 3 Interview Guide - Hearing Participants (continued)

5.  Knowledge of process on part of persons concerned

The following questions are directed to eliciting the insights of respondents with respect to the level of knowledge of immigrants and refugee claimants regarding the proceedings in which they were involved, at the time of their first contact with the respondent. The questions are adapted to the different groups of respondents to reflect the different stages in the various proceedings at which respondents have first contact with immigrants and refugee claimants.

6.  Impact of representation

The following questions are intended for IRB and CIC personnel who participate directly in IRB hearings. UNHCR legal officers may also be in a position to respond based on their experience as observers at IRB proceedings. Interviewers should question respondents only with respect to proceedings in which they have direct experience.

7.  Procedural fairness and representation

The following questions are directed to eliciting the respondents' opinions regarding fairness of proceedings involving immigrants and refugee claimants. The questions are also aimed at eliciting opinions regarding the significance of representation as an element of procedural fairness. Interviewers should explain to respondents that we are looking primarily for their comments with respect to proceedings in which they have direct experience; however, they are free to comment on all of the proceedings listed if they feel so inclined.

8.  Respondents' overall assessment

The following questions are intended to elicit respondents' views with respect to the work currently being done by different groups of service providers and to elicit any suggestions they may have to improve present legal aid arrangements relating to immigrants and refugee claimants. Interviewers should specifically canvass the respondents' views on how representation services might best be delivered to immigrants and refugee claimants. To set the stage for these questions, interviewers should draw the respondents' attention to:

  • the services that should be considered (advice and information, assistance in case preparation, representation at hearings);
  • the avenues available for delivering these services (NGOs, legal aid clinics, service providers in private practice); and
  • the people who provide these services (volunteers and paid community service workers without legal expertise, immigration consultants, supervised paralegals, andlawyers - both staff and private practice).
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