Reza v. Canada

Reza v. Canada, [1994] 2 SCR 394, 1994 CanLII 91 (SCC)

• Applicant from Iran in 1987 – exhausted appeals of no credible basis finding in Federal Court, as well as H&C reviews
• Brought a number of constitutional challenges of the Immigration Act to Superior Court
• Motions judge declined to exercise his jurisdiction and used his discretion to stay the application on the basis that the Federal Court has concurrent jurisdiction and that Parliament had created a comprehensive scheme for review of immigration matters
• ONCA overturned this on appeal
• SCC reinstated the motion judge’s decision to stay the application – reaffirmed appeal standard for judicial use of discretion
• SCC noted that since the motions judge took into account all relevant considerations in exercising his discretion to grant a stay, there is no basis for an appellate court to interfere with his decision. The majority in the Ontario Court of Appeal erred in doing so. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.

Reza as cited by other case-law (usually cited by non-immigration cases):

• Chaudhary v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2015 ONCA 700 (CanLII), <>:

o [67] The respondents also refer to the cases Reza v. Canada, 1994 CanLII 91 (SCC), [1994] 2 S.C.R. 394 and Idziak v. Canada (Minister of Justice), 1992 CanLII 51 (SCC), [1992] 3 S.C.R. 631. In Reza, the Supreme Court confirmed the motions judge’s decision to decline to grant declaratory and injunctive relief to restrain a removal order. The second case, Idziak, involved an appellant who the United States wanted extradited and who had sought habeas corpus with certiorari in aid in the Supreme Court of Ontario to set aside the warrant of surrender.
o [68] In my view, none of those cases go as far as suggested by the respondents. Although Reza was an immigration case, it did not involve habeas corpus. It concerned declaratory and injunctive relief in the context of a constitutional challenge to immigration legislation. This distinction is noteworthy because the remedies sought were both discretionary and were available in both the provincial courts and the Federal Court. This is in contrast to habeas corpus, which is a non-discretionary remedy and is available only in the provincial superior courts. The Federal Court has no jurisdiction to grant it. Reza, therefore, is of no assistance in resolving the issue herein.

• In Council of the Wasauksing First Nation v. Wasausink Lands Inc., 2004 CanLII 15484 (ON CA), <>, ONCA noted:

o The jurisdiction of an appellate court to review the exercise of judicial discretion is strictly constrained. We are not in a position to interfere with the trial judge’s decision to deny rectification unless it is clearly demonstrated that he wrongfully exercised his discretion by giving no weight, or insufficient weight, to relevant considerations: see Reza v. Canada, 1994 CanLII 91 (SCC).