Ronald Poulton has represented applicants in some of the most important precedent setting cases in Canadian immigration history. You will find below references and descriptions of just a few of these cases.


In Suresh v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 3, 2002 SCC 1, the Supreme Court decided that to deport a person alleged to have been a member of a terrorist organization to a country which would torture him violated section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Poulton and Barbara Jackman argued on behalf of the appellant Suresh.


The Federal Court of Appeal in Oberlander v. MCI 2009 FCA 330 recognized the defence of duress to allegations of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Mr. Poulton and Ms. Jackman argued for the appellant, Helmut Oberlander.

In Said v. MCI[1999] F.C.J. No. 663, the Federal Court of Appeal stayed the removal of the appellant as to deport him to Afghanistan would violate his Charter rights under section 7. Mr. Poulton argued for the appellant, Said.

The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the decision of a Trial Judge and allowed a stay of removal. The Court held that the Trial Judge had erred in deciding that the balance of convenience favored the Minister. The case is Fabian v. MCI[2000] F.C.J. No. 75. Mr. Poulton argued on behalf of the appellant.

Prior to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in Raza v. MCI [2007] F.C.J. No. 1632, PRRA officers had taken the position that the findings of the refugee board, particularly credibility findings, could not be reconsidered. The Raza decision changed that. The Court of Appeal held that new evidence demonstrating that the refugee board had erred, could be considered. Mr. Poulton represented the appellant, Raza.


In Yoo v. Canada [2009] F.C.J. No. 423 the Federal Court decided that children over 18 years of age and dependent on their father were entitled to an assessment of their best interests under the Baker formulation. Mr. Poulton argued on behalf of the applicants.

In a decision released on April 1, 2010, the Federal Court overturned a decision by a humanitarian officer on the grounds that he had ignored evidence on the circumstances of girls and women in Nigeria. Mr. Poulton acted for the applicant in Isado v. MCI [2010] FCJ N0. 401.

In Baeza v. MCI [2010] F.C.J. No. 439, the Federal Court rendered an important decision on humanitarian applications. The court overturned a negative H & C decision, holding that it was wrong for the immigration officer to consider periods of unauthorized work as factors against the applicant. Mr. Poulton represented the applicant.

An overseas visa officer had issued inadequate reasons in refusing a group sponsorship of  a refugee. Mr. Poulton represented the applicants in Shokohi v. MCI [2010] FC 443, in which the Court quashed the visa officer’s decision.

In Gill v. MCI [2008] the Court allowed a judicial review application and overturned a visa officer’s decision which separated out a dependant child from a skilled worker application. The officer had decided the child was not dependent as she had missed one year of her post secondary schooling and was doing poorly in her course work. The Court held that the test to be applied in determining dependency of a child was the intention of the child to remain in school full time and whether in intention and action he or she had abandoned school. Mr. Poulton represented the applicants.

In Ragupathy v. MPSP [2006] F.C.J. No. 1717 Mr. Poulton successfully argued for the applicant. The Court held that where a material change in country conditions had taken place, section 7 of the Charter mandated an updated risk assessment.

The Federal Court decided in KoKo Win v. MCI [2008] F.C.J. No. 1434 that a PRRA officer had erred by relying on a legal standard of certainty and in failing to consider a claim to protection based on the doctrine of refugee sur place. Mr. Poulton acted for the applicant.

Mr. Poulton successfully represented the respondent in MCI v. Chico [1998] F.C.J. No. 994, confirming that she had a right of appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB on the allegation that she had misrepresented her circumstances on entering Canada. Ms. Chico had won her appeal before the IAD.

In only a limited number of cases the Federal Court has recognized the duty on an immigration officer to re-open an application when faced with new evidence. Once such case in which the Court recognized this duty and ordered an officer to reconsider was  Tchassovnikov v. MCI [1998] FCJ No. 1111. Mr. Poulton represented the applicant in this case.

In Hamidi v. MCI [2006] FCJ  No. 402 the Court allowed a judicial review application of a visa officer’s decision that the applicant was inadmissible because he had been a prescribed senior official of a government that engages in systematic human rights violations. The officer had ignored evidence and issued an unreasonable decision. Mr. Poulton represented the applicant.


In a landmark decision in Abreu v. MPSEP [2009] I.A.D.D. No. 671, the Immigration Appeal Division recognized, for the first time, that the taking of a permanent resident document by a visa officer overseas from a permanent resident prior to 2002 had no legal effect. In that case the appellant had been landed in Canada in the early 1990s and then returned to his home country for a number of years. He was informed by the visa post in his home country that as he was outside of Canada for an extended period he had lost his status in Canada as a permanent resident. The officer then took the appellant’s landing document from him. The appellant subsequently came back to Canada as a visitor and remained for close to 10 years with no status. In quashing an exclusion order against him the IAD held that the appellant had remained a landed immigrant of Canada as the overseas visa officer had no jurisdiction to revoke permanent residency. Mr. Poulton represented the appellant.

In another landmark decision in Gittens v. MCI  [2009] IAD TA7-05949, the Appeal Division held that an applicant in an overseas sponsorship application could remain in Canada for his spousal interview. The applicant had significant family responsibilities in Canada and the IAD exercised its humanitarian discretion to allow him to remain in Canada. The overseas sponsorship was necessary as the applicant had a criminal record and was inadmissible. On appeal, the IAD also decided that the humanitarian factors over-shadowed the criminality and that he should be permitted to remain united with his wife and family in Canada. Mr. Poulton represented the appellant and applicant.