Statistics on IRB judge acceptance rates.

Posted by admin on Jul 10th, 2007

The five highest and five lowest refugee grant rates (excluding expedited positive decisions) for IRB Board Members that decided at least 50 cases in 2006:

ETHIER, GILLES: 98.74% (163 decisions)
KITCHENER, SUSAN: 93.58% (110 decisions)
LECLERCQ, DOMINIQUE: 90.59% (85 decisions)
MOSS, JOEL: 86.55% (124 decisions)
PELLETIER, JEAN-PAUL: 85.39% (90 decisions)

RANDHAWA, SAJJAD: 6.67% (50 decisions)
HOUDE, ROGER: 8.64% (92 decisions)
GHOSH, SUPARNA: 8.96% (136 decisions)
WONG, BING: 11.43% (75 decisions)
FREILICH, MIRIAM: 13.33% (136 decisions)


Similar variations persist when one breaks down grant rates for particular decision-makers by country. For example, if you were a refugee claimant from China in 2006, you would rather have:

OWEN, ROBERT: 96.88% (32 decisions)
PINKNEY, THOMAS: 82.64% (121 decisions)
MONTGOMERY, JOAN: 80% (45 decisions)

instead of:

THOMAS, STEPHANIE: 15.38% (26 decisions)
MORTAZAVI, FAHIMEH: 16.36% (55 decisions)
WILSON, WILBERT: 23.53% (51 decisions)

Or, if you were from Mexico, you would prefer:

PIRBAY, JOULEKHAN: 62.50% (64 decisions)
PANAGAKOS, HELENE: 62% (50 decisions)
SHORT, WILLIAM: 51.28% (39 decisions)

compared to:

HOUDE, ROGER: 2.56% (78 decisions)
GRIFFITH, GEORGE: 7.23% (83 decisions)
LEVESQUE, SYLVIE 7.35% (68 decisions)

Similarly, if you were from Sri Lanka, it would be nice to get:

ETHIER, GILLES: 100% (54 decisions)
TINKER, DIANE: 100% (30 decisions)
LANG, LAWRENCE: 63.64% (44 decisions)

rather than:

RANDHAWA, SAJJAD: 7.41% (27 decisions)
HAMELIN, MICHAEL: 46.43% (28 decisions)
BERGER, BARBARA: 58% (50 decisions)

Another interesting statistic is that some IRB members seem more sympathetic to female claimants:

BECKOW, STEPHEN MARK: F77.42% (31 decisions); M31.76% (85 decisions)
DELISLE, RUTH: F66.67% (105 decisions); M28.07% (57 decisions)

whereas others have higher grant rates for male claimants:

SHORT, WILLIAM: F60.53% (38 decisions); M80.65% (62 decisions)
BEDARD, JOANNA: F37.14% (35 decisions); M57.63% (59 decisions)

Of course, we would want to be cautious in drawing inferences from these types of statistics. IRB Members specialize in particular types of cases in a manner that may produce understandable variations in grant rates. Still, at the very least, these significant differences in grant rates are something we ought to take a closer look at.

Doctoral Candidate
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

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