Thursday, December 11, 2008

CSIC Vindicated by Supreme Court Decision

Received the following good news from the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants today. Supreme Court of Canada has rendered another landmark judgment that confirms Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant’s right and ability to practice, by dismissing the Law Society of Upper Canada’s application to consider its case against Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants and Attorney General of Canada.I am proud to be a Member of the Society and very happy that as licensed consultants we have finally won our last battle. I personally look forward to contributing to the mandate of the Society to ensure consumer protection and promote better, competent and ethical immigration practice. Good luck to all fellow C.C.I.Cs

Amir Ismail, BCS, MBA
Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant
Member of Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants
Fellow of Canadian Migration Institute
Immigration Practitioner Certificate (High Honours)
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Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Law Society's application with costs

The Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada have all concluded that CSIC is independent, properly authorized under the Act, and presents no problems relating to solicitor-client privilege.

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed the authority of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) to regulate authorized immigration consultants. By dismissing a leave to appeal with costs by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), the Supreme Court has issued the final legal word on the role of CSIC as the sole regulator of immigration consultants in Canada.

“This is not just another legal victory for CSIC and its members,” said John Ryan, Chair and Acting CEO. “This decision means once and for all that CSIC has the authority to regulate immigration consultants for the protection of the people who use their services. This is good news for everyone.”

The court challenges revolved around three key concerns: 1) whether CSIC and its members were independent of Citizenship and Immigration Canada; 2) whether the Immigration Refugee Protection Act can authorize a scheme to regulate immigration consultants, and 3) whether CSIC’s regulation of immigration consultants breach solicitor-client privilege. The Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada have all concluded that CSIC is independent, with delegated authority to regulate authorized immigration consultants with no concerns relating to solicitor-client privilege.

In 2005, the LSUC, supported by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC), brought an application before the Federal Court challenging CSIC’s status as regulator. That application was dismissed by Mr. Justice Hughes in December 2006. LSUC then brought the matter to the Federal Court of Appeal, who heard the case and dismissed the appeal on July 18, 2008. LSUC then filed a leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada in September 2008. This leave was dismissed today.

“Throughout these years of legal struggle, CSIC’s leadership has been supported by its members without fail. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank them for their perseverance and confidence,” added Mr. Ryan. “I am confident we will soon put all of this behind us and work with all of our partners – LSUC included – for the benefit of people who use immigration consulting services.”

Sincerely,

Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants