Law professor Sujith Xavier was part of a team that successfully represented Alexander Vavilov before the Supreme Court of Canada in a case that will alter how courts oversee decisions of administrative officials and public bodies.
In December 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that the Toronto-born Vavilov, son of Russian spies, was “entitled to a certificate of Canadian citizenship” following a long-running legal battle against the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
As reported by the CBC, Vavilov’s parents were arrested nine years ago in the United States and indicted on charges of conspiring to act as secret agents on behalf of Russia. As a result, Vavilov and his brother were no longer recognized as Canadian citizens.
Prof. Xavier joined Barbara Jackman and Hadyat Nazami as counsel making the case that the decision was unreasonable. The Supreme Court judges agreed.
“I’m pleased that the Supreme Court's ruling brings clarity to the standard of review that Canadian courts must use in reviewing the decisions of administrative officials,” says Xavier. “Alex can now return to Canada as a citizen, and I look forward to sharing this important area of my scholarship with Windsor Law students.”
Associate dean of research and graduate studies Laverne Jacobs says she is delighted to bring attention to Xavier’s work.
“This high-profile case not only has important access to justice dimensions, but it also has evolutionary impact in the field of Canadian administrative law,” she says.