Refugee judge accused of 'incompetence' in Global News investigation, 'no longer an employee of the IRB'

March 9, 2018
Article Source
Global News

A powerful refugee judge accused of a "pattern of incompetence" and aggressive behaviour aimed at lawyers and refugee claimants is no longer employed by Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), according to the organization.

"Ms. [Natalka] Cassano is no longer an employee of the IRB," said a statement from IRB spokesperson Anna Pape. "As this is a private matter, we will not comment further."

Claims about Cassano's troubling behaviour were first reported in a Global News investigation from January looking at her actions and those of a fellow refugee judge who lawyers allege acted inappropriately toward claimants. The investigation also looked at allegations the IRB is either incapable of or unwilling to address complaints about the conduct of immigration and refugee judges.

Though Cassano is a lawyer, "judges" at the IRB do not require any formal legal training and are not real judges per se. Complaints about their conduct are handled internally by the IRB.

Following the Global News report - which MPs from all parties have raised concerns over - a parliamentary committee tasked with studying immigration chose to investigate the IRB's complaint process.

In a Feb. 27 hearing, Conservative MP David Tilson expressed concern about whether the IRB could maintain public confidence in light of the "devastating" revelations regarding the conduct of some of its judges contained in the Global News investigation.

"I'm sure the board had a fit when they saw this [report]," Tilson said when questioning the IRB acting chairperson, Paul Aterman.

Read more: Refugee judge accused of 'incompetence' in Global News investigation, 'no longer an employee of the IRB'