In Unjust by Design, the reader will find many references to Peter Showler, a former Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board. It is, for instance, his whistleblowing to the Toronto Star in 2003 concerning the patronage abuse he had experienced at the IRB that I feature as evidence of the fact that hardly anyone cares about the shortcomings of our administrative justice system (Unjust by Design at page 24.)
But in the process of quoting Peter three times or more I plain forgot to mention one of what I think may be the most important things about him and that is that in 2006 he wrote a book that provides, in my opinion, the best depiction of the intimate human side of what goes on within the workings of an adjudicative tribunal – in this case, the IRB, in which Peter worked as tribunal adjudicator and Chair for nine years – that one could ever expect to find. The book provides a series of 13 beautifully written vignettes about the human experience as it displays itself within the workings of this one tribunal. But no one who has not lived as a committed judicial tribunal adjudicator for a number of years can claim to know what judicial tribunals are about if they have not read this book.
For anyone associated with our administrative justice system this is one book that should be required reading. And my apologies Peter for not featuring it in Unjust by Design.
The book is Refugee Sandwich, Stories of Exile and Asylum, written by Peter Showler and published in 2006 by McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Peter Showler is currently Director of the Refugee Forum, located at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa.