Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Afanasyev - inadmissibility for espionage, no need for formal relief submissions

Afanasyev v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 737

Decision by de Montigny granting judicial review of inadmissibility under s. 34 (and refusal to grant Ministerial relief under s. 34(2)).

The Applicant served in the Soviet military from 1985 to 1987, and reported on radio transmissions; he was declared inadmissible under 34(a) and (f), namely:

engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;

…or being a member of an organisation that did so.

Justice de Montigny found that the officer’s findings on what, exactly, the Applicant did were problematic on multiple fronts. First, the officer cited both the CSIS explanation of what the Applicant allegedly did and the Applicant’s description, without dealing with discrepancies between the two accounts. Furthermore, the decision was predicated on the officer’s understanding of “espionage”, but nowhere is that understanding explained. (paras. 32-34)

Justice de Montigny also found that the officer failed to consider Ministerial relief under s. 34(2) on the sole ground that there were not formal, separate submission on relief; there had clearly been a request for relief to be considered, and there was relevant evidence on the record (paras. 38-42)

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