The IAD hears cases in a manner similar to a regular court. A member of the board acts as a judge and a hearings officer is appointed by the CBSA to defend the immigration officer’s decision.
You are entitled to be represented by counsel at these hearings. One of the most important powers of the IAD is its ability to make determinations on an “equitable” basis. That means that, in some cases, it can consider humanitarian grounds to overcome the immigration rule or regulation which governs your circumstances.