The Special Court of Law Committee submitted its recommendation on Thursday 9 March 2017.
The committee does not recommend an administrative tribunal for immigration cases, but proposes some changes to improve due process protection in the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE).
The committee writes that there are ‘currently challenges relating to adversarial procedure’, i.e. the appellant's opportunity to comment on and respond to information and arguments. Moreover, the committee calls for appellants to be given more opportunities to present their case orally.
The committee has not evaluated UNE, but refers to points of view expressed by organisations and lawyers. Part of the criticism aimed at UNE relates to the form of process prescribed by the Public Administration Act, namely an elucidation process. The committee recommends changing the procedure by making it more of a two-party procedure in order to improve due process protection. The committee has neither recommended nor studied a full two-party procedure, which will require the clarification of some difficult matters.
The main points of view are:
- The requirement for adversarial procedure should be made more stringent, and preferably comply with the requirements stipulated in the Dispute Act
- UNE should only be able to make decisions regarding the ‘claims’ made in the case. UNE can mainly only base its decision on the facts of the case that have been invoked and/or emphasised by the UDI or the appellant, cf. the Dispute Act Section 11-2 (1).
- A larger verbal element should be considered. The committee proposes to make it a rule to hold meetings during the consideration of the case, and that these meetings should be independent of the hearings. UNE must take into consideration the significance of the case to the appellant, and there should be a low threshold for holding such meetings in cases concerning protection, expulsion and revocation.
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