Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Wisdom—insufficient weight to psychiatric assessment

Judge: Justice Beaudry

Date heard: January 18, 2010

Date decided: January 21, 2011

Counsel for Wisdom: Debbie Mankovitz and Simon Gruda

Counsel for Minister: Sébastien Dasylva

Place of Hearing: Montréal, Quebec

This was a review of the refusal of the Applicant’s application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (para. 1). The Applicant asserted that he was a national of Sierra Leone, although that was not determined (para. 3).

The Applicant was approximately 17 years old when he came to Canada, having spent time in Nigeria, Gabon, the Netherlands, and Brazil. In the latter two countries, he made refugee claims which were refused (para. 4). His Canadian refugee claim was refused in August 2006, in part because the RPD found him excluded under Article 1F(a) and 1F(c) because of a tattoo which allegedly identified him as a member of a rebel group “responsible for serious crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone” (para. 5).

Six months after the refusal (in early 2007), the Applicant was hospitalized for psychiatric reasons for five months (para. 6).

In judging the H&C application, the officer found that the applicant had not made sufficient efforts to integrate, and gave weight to the RPD’s finding that the applicant’s identity was not establish (paras. 8-9). Reference letters and the reports of a social worker and psychiatrist were given little weight (paras. 10-11).

The Court found that the officer put too much weight on the question of whether the Applicant’s identity was objectively determined, and therefore put too little weight on the medical/psychiatric evidence (paras. 13-14).


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