Torture Claims Appeal Board Operations

The request was partially successful.

Dear Security Bureau,

Kindly provide the information request below.

(1) What is the average time from submission of appeal/petition to decision?

(2) How many appellants/petitioners are represented? How many are unrepresented?

(3) What percentage of appellants/petitioners granted an oral hearing?

(4) How many unsuccessful appellants/petitioners seek leave for judicial review? What is this number as a percentage of all appellants/petitioners? How many are granted leave for judicial review?

(5) What training do TCAB adjudicators receive? How often are adjudicators offered training?

(6) What is the TCAB's process for handing complaints about adjudicators? How complaints have been received about adjudicators? What were the outcomes of those complaints?

I apologize for the many questions. Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Severson

Security Bureau

Dear Mr Severson,

I refer to your application for access to information dated 8 June 2017.

We are processing your application and shall let you have a substantive
reply as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Theresa Lee
for Secretary for Security

Dear Security Bureau,

A gentle reminder that I have an outstanding request for information. Please reply as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Adam Severson

Security Bureau

Dear Mr Severson,
I refer to your email dated 8 June 2017 requesting us to provide
information in relation to appeals/petitions filed with Torture Claims
Appeal Board/Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office (“the Board”).  Our
substantive reply is given below, please -

(1)        What is the average time from submission of appeal/petition to
decision?

The Board strives to hear and determine all appeals/petitions in
expeditious manner.  That said, the time required for processing an
appeal/a petition depends on a basket of factors such as the nature and
complexity of the case in question, any missing information or documents
in relation to the appeal/petition, basis of the claim and grounds of the
appeal/petition, etc.  If an oral hearing is required, longer processing
time will usually be required due to the need to list the appeal for
hearing, serve a notice of hearing on all parties at least 28 days prior
to the hearing and arrange for interpretation services and logistics
support for the hearing, etc.

(2)        How many appellants/petitioners are represented?  How many are
unrepresented?

Upon receipt of the notice of decision issued by the Director of
Immigration, the duty lawyer would assess and decide whether legal
assistance should be provided to his/her claimant during the
appeal/petition proceedings.  At present, about 9% of the
appellants/petitioners are legally represented.  

(3)        What percentage of appellants/petitioners granted an oral
hearing?

Currently, over 90% of the appeals/petitions require an oral hearing.

(4)         How many unsuccessful appellants/petitioners seek leave for
judicial review?  What is this number as a percentage of all appellants/
petitioners?  How many are granted leave for judicial review?

Rule 3(2) of Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court, Cap.4A, stipulates
that an application for leave for judicial review must be made ex-parte.
 TCAB is generally not privy to the process.  As such, we do not have
information on the number of unsuccessful appellants/petitioners who seek
leave for application for judicial review.  

(5)         What training do TCAB adjudicators receive?  How often are
adjudicators offered training?

Each Board Member will be provided with induction training on hearing and
determining appeals/petitions for non-refoulement claim upon appointment.
 Refresher training, briefing/presentation on particular topics and
experience sharing sessions will also be conducted for Board Members on a
regular basis.

(6)         What is the TCAB’s process for handling complaints about
adjudicators?  How complaints have been received about adjudicators?  What
were the outcomes of those complaints?

In the performance of their functions, Board Members have the same
privileges and immunities as a judge of the Court of First Instance in
civil proceedings in that court under section 26 of Schedule 1A to the
Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115).  A person aggrieved by a decision of the
Board Member will normally seek leave to apply for judicial review.  We
have not received any complaints about the Board Members.

Yours sincerely,
Theresa Lee
for Secretary for Security