Hassan v. Canada

Hassan v. Canada (Minister of Employment & Immigration), 1992 CarswellNat 562

• Claimant from Uganda. Board agreed that claimant’s experiences in 1980 likely did amount to persecution. But country conditions had changed, which undermined the existence of any objective grounds for the ongoing fear.

• The relevant provisions of IRPA are now 108(1)(e) and 1084(4) in the section on Cessation:
• 108 (1) A claim for refugee protection shall be rejected, and a person is not a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection, in any of the following circumstances:

(e) the reasons for which the person sought refugee protection have ceased to exist.
(4) Paragraph (1)(e) does not apply to a person who establishes that there are compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution, torture, treatment or punishment for refusing to avail themselves of the protection of the country which they left, or outside of which they remained, due to such previous persecution, torture, treatment or punishment.
• Court holds that these provisions on cessation do not lower the s. 96 Convention refugee test. No “compelling reasons” analysis is done in the initial test for granting Convention refugee status:

• It is clear, as the appellant suggests, that subsections 2(2) and 2(3) of the Immigration Act speak to the loss of status as a Convention refugee because of, inter alia, a change in material circumstance in a refugee’s home nation. But those provisions in no way alter the test used to initially determine a claimant’s status. It is trite law that to establish status as a Convention refugee within the meaning of the Immigration Act, one has to meet both a subjective and objective threshold. One must have a “well-founded fear of persecution”. One cannot get to the point of possibly losing one’s status as a Convention refugee, i.e. subsections 2(2) and 2(3) cannot be applicable, unless one first falls within the statutory definition contained in subsection 2(1).