Today, the Federal Court of Canada issued a positive decision today on a case where the Applicant was represented by neither a lawyer nor a consultant. The court agreed that the actions of the representative qualified as such an injustice against the Applicant that the appeal was allowed. This is another case of a representative whose actions cost the Applicant significant time & money. The legal costs to filing the appeal to Federal Court are not insignificant.
In the words of Justice Heneghan:
[The Applicant] sought assistance from one Mr. Ademola Oladapo in the preparation of submissions in support of her PRRA, believing that he was a lawyer. It transpired that Mr. Oladapo is neither a lawyer nor a registered immigration consultant, and the submissions that he filed on behalf of the Applicant were factually wrong.
I have never met Mr. Oladapo and I have not had any contact with him. It is entirely possible that he tried to help the Applicant with good intentions. It is not clear whether he charged her thousands of dollars $$$ for his services. That information is not included in the decision.
The decision focuses on the negative implications of the representative’s actions.
Mr. Oladapo presented a factually incorrect basis for the Applicant’s PRRA and in my opinion, that fact means that she did not receive a fair assessment of her claim to be at risk in her country of nationality.
Based on the work done by the unqualified non-lawyer, the Applicant’s refusal was reversed and she won the appeal.
My question is: at what cost? And how could this have been avoided?