Refugee Appeal Board
The Refugee Appeal Board determines appeals lodged against decisions rejecting claims for refugee status as being unfounded. Unless good cause is shown [RAB 4.5], the notice of appeal must be filed in person within 30 days of receipt of the letter of rejection at the refugee centre where that letter was handed to the asylum seeker [Reg. 14(1); RAB 4.1].
The Appeal Board may either confirm, set aside or substitute the decision taken by an RSDO [Act, 26]. Before reaching a decision, the Appeal Board may (i) invite the UNHCR representative to make oral or written representations; (ii) refer the matter back to the Standing Committee for further inquiry and investigation; (iii) request the attendance of any person who, in its opinion, is in a position to provide the Appeal Board with relevant information; (iv) of its own accord make further inquiry or investigation; and (v) request the applicant to appear before it and to provide any such other information as it may deem necessary.
Section 15 of the Refugees Act provides that, in the case of the Refugee Appeal Board, meetings must be convened by the chairperson and that the majority of members constitute a quorum; thus at least two persons have to be present, at a minimum. Further, the decision must be taken by a majority of votes. It is therefore required that the Refugee Appeal Board sit with its full complement of members or, at the very least, two. A decision of the Refugee Appeal Board, made by only one member, is invalid and must be set aside [Harerimana v RAB].