Ramirez v. MEI (1992), 135 N.R. 390 (FCA)

MLB headnote and full text

Saul Vicente Ramirez (appellant) v. Minister of Employment and Immigration (respondent)


Indexed As: Ramirez v. Minister of Employment and Immigration

Federal Court of Appeal

Stone, MacGuigan and Linden, JJ.A.

February 7, 1992.


Ramirez, a Salvadoran, claimed refugee status. The Refugee Division of the Immi­gration and Refugee Board dismissed his claim, because although he established a well-founded fear of persecution by reason of his political opinion, he was disqualified as one who had committed crimes against humanity. He appealed.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Aliens – Topic 1330.2

Admission – Refugees – Disqualifications – Crimes against humanity – A Salvadoran sought status as a refugee after deserting from the Salvadoran army – He served a complete term of enlistment, during which he was on active duty with a force which regularly and often captured, tortured and killed civilians in the context of a war against guerrillas; although he did not personally inflict harm on prisoners, but merely witnessed events – The Federal Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of refugee status to him by the Refugee Divi­sion on the ground that there were serious reasons for considering (a standard less than a balance of probabilities) that he was guilty of “some personal activity involving persecution” sufficient to constitute crimes against humanity.

Courts – Topic 103

Stare decisis – Authority of judicial deci­sions – English and American authorities – American decisions – The Federal Court of Appeal considered American decisions in deciding an issue regarding refugee claims by people who are alleged to have committed crimes against humanity – See paragraphs 14 to 15.

Cases Noticed:

Fedorenko v. United States (1981), 449 U.S. 490, consd. [para. 14].

Laipenieks v. I.N.S. (1985), 750 F.2d 1427 (U.S.C.A. 9th Cir.), consd. [para. 14].

Naredo v. Minister of Employment and Immigration (1990), 37 F.T.R. 161; 11 Imm. L.R.(2d) 92 (F.C.T.D.), consd. [para. 19].

Schaaf v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1984] 2 F.C. 334; 52 N.R. 54 (F.C.A.), appld. [para. 32].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 21 [paras. 13, 18].

Immigration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-2, sect. 2(1) [para. 2]; sect. 19(1)(j) [para. 5]; sect. 27(1)(g), sect. 27(1)(h), sect. 46.01(1)(d)(i) [para. 5].

United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Article I, sect. F [para. 2].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Ed. 1979) [para. 11].

Goodwin-Gill, Guy S., The Refugee in International Law (1983), pp. 59-60 [para. 2].

Grahl Madsen, A., The Status of Refugees in International Law (1966), pp. 274 [para. 12]; 277 [para. 16]; 289-290 [para. 4].

Hatheway, James C., The Law of Refugee Status (1991), pp. 215-216 [para. 9]; 217 [para. 2]; 218 [paras. 14, 40]; 220 [para. 14].

International Law Commission, Code of Offences Against the Peace and Security of Mankind (draft) [para. 40].

Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (2nd Ed. 1977) [para. 11].

Linden, A.M., Canadian Tort Law (4th Ed. 1988), p. 263ff. [para. 21].

London Charter of the International Mili­tary Tribunal, Article 6 [para. 12].

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status (1988), p. 35 [paras. 7, 8].

Williams, Glanville, Criminal Law: The General Part (2nd Ed. 1961), pp. 346-353 [para. 11].


Michael F. Loebach, for the appellant;

Donald MacIntosh, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Brown, Beattie and O’Donovan, London, Ontario, for the appellant;

John C. Tait, Q.C., Deputy Attorney Gen­eral of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent.

This case was heard on January 30, 1992, at Toronto, Ontario, before Stone, Mac­Guigan and Linden, JJ.A., of the Federal Court of Appeal.

On February 7, 1992, MacGuigan, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the court.


Ramirez v. Minister of Employment and Immigration

(1992), 135 N.R. 390 (FCA)

Federal Court of Appeal (Canada)
Reading Time:
22 minutes
Linden, MacGuigan, Stone 

MacGuigan, J.A.:
This is an appeal under s. 82.3 of the
Immigration Act
, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-2 (“the
“), of a decision of the Refugee Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (“Refugee Division”), dated March 14, 1990, in which the Refugee Division determined that the appellant was not a Convention refugee.

More Insights