Strategic Litigation and Advice

We are passionate about pursuing strategic litigation and interventions that challenge inequities in the law and that impact more than any one person who might facing a particular legal challenge at any given time.

We are also passionate about giving strategic advice to institutions where a law or policy might impact a number of people in different ways.

Our office is passionate about pursuing strategic litigation to challenge unfair and unjust laws. We are proud of the work we have done to move the law forward in areas where a client or a group of people were unfairly impacted by a lawin some way. These cases have included the following cases that we brought to Supreme Court of Canada as lead counsel:

R. v. Wong, 2018 SCC 25 – The Supreme Court of Canada clarified the law applicable to persons seeking to withdraw a guilty plea because they were not informed of the serious collateral immigration consequences that automatically resulted from their plea. The law was previously interpreted differently by the Courts of Appeal across Canada, and many jurisdictions applied a standard that did not allow a guilty plea to be withdrawn for this reason alone. This approach recognized the unfairness caused to persons who would not have pleaded guilty, had they been properly informed that they might be deported from Canada as a result.

Tran v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), [2017] 2 SCR 289 – The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal that had found a person sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months or more, who was inadmissible for that reason, included persons sentenced to Conditional Sentence Orders (which are sentences served in the community that tend to be longer than comparable prison sentences). The Court recognised that this was an inequitable result that unfairly impacted persons who had committed an offence that was less serious than persons who were not captured by the provision, and so found CSOs not to be terms of imprisonment for the purposes of IRPA.

B010 v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), [2015] 3 SCR 704 – The Supreme Court of Canada found the lower courts unreasonably interpreted the inadmissibility provision of “people smuggling” under s. 37(1)(b) of IRPA. The Court found the definition had to comply with international law, which contemplated the requirement that a person have acted to assist asylum‑seekers to enter Canada in order to obtain a financial or other material benefit in the context of transnational organized crime (rather than merely for humanitarian or mutual aid purposes).

R. v. Appulonappa, [2015] 3 SCR 754 – The Supreme Court of Canada found s. 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the criminal offence of organizing entry into Canada) to be overly broad and contrary to s. 7 of the Charter. The Court read in exceptions that included family members, humanitarians, and persons engaging in mutual aid.

We have assisted with many cases and issues that were equally important before the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Immigration Division, the Immigration Appeal Division, the Refugee Protection Division, the Refugee Appeal Division, the BC Supreme Court and the BC Court of Appeal.

We assist interveners at all levels of tribunals and courts. By acting for interveners, we present important perspectives and issues to Courts considering a legal issue that stands to impact more than just the litigant in a particular case before it, that otherwise might not be considered. This includes filing factums, developing litigation strategies, and representation at the hearing. We have acted for interveners in the following cases:

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, et al. v. Tusif Ur Rehman Chhina, 2018 SCC 29 – Intervener for the Candian Council for Refugees – The Supreme Court of Canada recognized the right of persons detained under the IRPA to apply for habeas corpus in the Superior Courts, as a right protected under the Charter and guaranteed as an ancient legal remedy that remains fundamental to liberty and the rule of law

Febles v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 SCC 68 – Intervener the Canadian Civil Liberties Association – The Supreme Court of Canada clarified the law applicable for persons excluded from making refugee claims under Article 1F(b) of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees – for having committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to admission to that country as a refugee.

We provide strategic advice to institutions such as post-secondary institutions, unions, NGOs, NPOs, and media on Canadian immigration and refugee matters. This includes copywriting, legal opinions, expert witnessing, presenting and training, media consultations, and risk assessments.

Copywriting

It is important for institutions (post-secondary institutions, unions, NGOs, and NPOs) to ensure that the immigration information they are representing on public materials (websites, brochures, contracts) is accurate, compliant, and up-to-date with laws, regulation, and policy. We can help copywrite this information and provide timely updates.

Legal Opinions

We advise institutions providing legal opinion. These opinions can help shape and guide policy

Expert Witnessing

We can serve as expert witnesses in civil and criminal cases with immigration-related elements.

Presenting and Training 

We deliver immigration and refugee presentations and training to institutions, including secondary schools and non-profit organizations

Media Consultations

We are often consulted by media to comment on immigration matters and to advise them on immigration-related news stories and angles.

Risk Assessments

Immigration can be a highly risky process for your institution.