In a judgment rendered Friday, Grand Court Justice Ingrid Mangatal stated that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal did not properly consider the applications of seven Cuban migrants seeking asylum here, ruling that the tribunal’s errors amounted to a miscarriage of justice for the migrants.

Justice Mangatal concluded her judgment by calling for Cayman immigration officials to receive more training to handle matters of complex and evolving immigration law.

Such matters make it necessary “for the tribunal members to be knowledgeable, and to keep undergoing training and evaluation in this complex area”, she stated. “Indeed, the judges who will be asked to deal with these complex matters will also need to have specialist ongoing training.”

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Government is indeed devoting resources to make sure it can properly handle asylum cases going forward, according to Crown counsel Michael Smith.

Smith told the court on Friday that he and members of the Refugee Protection Appeals Tribunal – which was recently established to replace the Immigration Appeals Tribunal in handling refugee and asylum matters – have received a week of training by several prominent immigration judges from the United Kingdom.

Smith said he is drafting rules of procedure for the new tribunal. Once those rules of procedure are approved by stakeholders, the Refugee Protection Appeals Tribunal will start hearing asylum – and refugee-related cases. Smith said this should happen “soon”, and the Compass understands the new tribunal could be functional by the end of June.

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