Your general research topic for assignments is Canadian refugee issues. However, each assignment will ask you to examine a specific
aspect of this theme.
This assignment requires you to write a Case Brief of Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), a 2014 decision of the Supreme
Court of Canada. This case examines what should be the Canadian states response to refugees seeking protection in Canada when the
refugee has a criminal history. Should they be allowed to remain in Canada even with this criminal history? Are they deserving of the
Canadian states protection? Or should they be deported back to their homeland even if there is the possibility they may face
The case has been attached to the Assignment file in cuLearn. Note: You will need to find the case using Quicklaw and Westlaw to
complete this assignment.
The case is about 40 pages long. You will need to read it through several times as you prepare your Case Brief. Make sure you start
this assignment well ahead of the due date.
Your Case Summary and Analysis should include the following elements. Write your Assignment as an Essay. We strongly urge you to use
the main headings such as Introduction, Summary of the Case, Analysis and Conclusion. You may also wish to use subheadings.
I. Introduction (2 marks)
Provide an introduction that identifies the following information:
• Identify the main case you will be discussing in the essay. (Your first footnote should include a complete and correct
citation for the case).
• Provide a brief ‘road map’ to the case brief – in other words identify the topics the case brief will address
II. Summary of the Febles Case
Provide a summary of the Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) case by addressing the following topics:
1. Background to the Case (Cause of Action and Procedural History) (2 marks)
• Who are the parties to the proceeding (including any interveners)?
• What is the nature of the proceeding/claim (e.g. is a declaration being sought or is it a motion, an application, or an
• Were there any lower court decision that preceded this proceeding and what was the decision?
• Was the decision unanimous? If not, identity which judge(s) spoke for the majority and which judge(s) dissented.
2. Facts (2 marks)
• Summarize the relevant facts necessary to understand what the case and the dispute is all about.
3. Legal Issues (1 mark)
• What were the legal issues that the Court had to decide?
4. Applicable (or Governing) Rules (1 mark)
• Identify the main legal principles or rules (including those derived from legislation or important precedent cases) that formed
the backdrop to consideration of the issues by the judges.
(Note: do not go into too much detail here and do not comb through the decision for all possible rules and cases referred to. The
purpose of this short section is to identify the broad legal parameters governing the dispute. Generally judges set this information
out near the beginning of their judgments.)
5. Decision (1 mark)
• What was the decision in the case? (Note: provide the information in this section but do not provide a detailed explanation at
6. Ratio Decidendi (1 marks)
• Identify and state the ratio decidendi of the case.
7. Judicial Reasoning (7 marks)
• Set out the reasons given by the Court to support their decision.
1. Discuss the reasoning of the Majority in determining the scope of Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention? (3 Marks)
In your response make sure to discuss the courts reasons regarding:
The ordinary meaning of Article 1F(b)
The Object & Purpose of the Refugee Convention (points A & B)
2. Explain why the Majority and the Dissenting judges reached different conclusions regarding:
The Travaux Préparatoires
The International Case Law
III. Analysis (3 marks)
• The Supreme Court’s decision in Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) engages issues of the proper balancing of
granting refugee status to those persons with a well-founded fear of persecution and the state’s ability to determine who it admits
into its territory.
1. In your opinion:
a. Did the Supreme Court of Canada properly balance these competing concerns of protecting vulnerable refugees and territorial
b. Did the Supreme Court of Canada make the right decision when it held that refugees that commit a serious (non-political) crime
before arriving in Canada should not be granted entry? Do you still agree with the decision even if it means that a refugee may be sent
back to their home nation where they may face persecution, torture or death?
IV. Conclusion (1 mark)
Provide a short conclusion to your case brief that summarizes the details and your analysis of the Febles case and the topics you
discussed in this case brief.
V. Note-Up the Case (3 marks)
Using Westlaw and Quicklaw to identify the treatment of the Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) case by later courts, provide
the following information.
1. Using Westlaw – what treatment has the Febles case received by other courts?
• How many times has the decision been ‘followed’ in other cases;
• How many times has the decision been ‘considered’ in other cases;
• Provide the style of cause (name) for a Supreme Court of Canada case that has followed Febles.
• How many times has the decision been mentioned in secondary sources?
2. Using Quicklaw – what treatment has the Febles case received by other courts?
• How many times has the decision been ‘mentioned’ in other cases;
• How many times has the decision been ‘cited in a dissenting opinion’ in other cases;
VI. Locating Other Cases (3 marks)
1. Locate ONE more Supreme Court of Canada case about Refugees and Criminality or
Refugees and Inadmissibility.
• Provide the complete citation for the case at first mention.
• Provide a brief summary of the details of the case. Your summary should explain what are the facts, central reasons and outcome
of the case.
Note: Quality of writing and citations (3 marks)
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS
• Your Case Analysis should be no more than 2000 words long (approximately 8 pages). Footnotes or endnotes are not included in
the word count. We will give a ‘grace’ allocation of a further 100 words for headings and cover page. You will lose marks if you go
over the word limit (pro-rated at the rate of 1 mark/200 words; so you will lose 0.5 marks if you go over 100 words and 1.5 marks if
you go over by 300 words and so forth.
• This word limit may seem long when you begin and short when you get into the assignment, but your ability to discern the most
relevant information and to focus your Case Analysis is one of the skills being assessed in this Assignment. Pay attention to the mark
allocations as a further guide to allocate your word limit.
Apportioning your Words:
• Summarize rather than directly quoting from the judgment except where you wish to comment on particular phrasing. You must
provide correct citations for direct quotations from the judgments and after lengthy summaries of parts of the judgment. However you do
not have to provide a citation for every individual fact or line you summarize from the judgment.
• Be succinct on facts, issues, applicable rules and decision.
• Your statement of the ratio should not exceed 5 sentences. Allocate the longest portions of your essay to discussing judicial
reasoning, and analysis of the questions.
Late Penalties and Extensions
Late penalties will be assessed as follows:
• Deduction of 5% marks if the assignment is handed in after NOON on due date (plus short grace period [30 min]) but before
• A further 5% if the assignment is handed-in anytime the ‘next day’ – from 12:01am to 11:59 pm.
• A further 10% is deducted at the beginning of each following day (at 12:01am) including weekend days.
You must contact Professor Bou-Zeid to request an extension before the due date. Extensions can only be granted for serious illness
(with medical note) or serious family emergency (with supporting documents). Refer to the Course Outline for complete rules with
respect to extensions.
Other Rules and FAQs:
1. It is not acceptable to simply copy information from the headnote/editor’s summary of the case; you must create your own
summary. Do not copy any material from online summaries. This will be treated as plagiarism. Case Analyses must be fully original and
must be the result of individual work only. Refer to the Course Outline for rules with respect to academic integrity.
2. You do not have to include a Bibliography.
3. All citation should follow the rules of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide).
4. Pay attention to your writing. Use section headings that correspond to each component. Make sure that you use complete
sentences and have a clear and logical structure. Polish your writing to ensure it is free from typographical errors. Marks are
allocated for effective writing.
5. Keep a copy of your essay as submitted.
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