13 June 2014

The updated AIDA Report on Ireland, written by ECRE member organisation Irish Refugee Council, highlights that a decision of the Court of Justice (CJEU) of May 2014 provides a ‘clear mandate for reform of the existing procedure’ for the examination of subsidiary protection applications (i.e. from those fleeing war, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment). The CJEU ruled that a person applying for international protection must be able to submit an application for refugee status and subsidiary protection at the same time and that there should be no unreasonable delay in processing a subsidiary protection application. Currently, new asylum applicants cannot apply for subsidiary protection without having been first refused refugee status, which in some cases has resulted in applicants having to wait several years before being allowed to apply for subsidiary protection.

The report notes that in April 2014 a legal challenge against Direct Provision (the system through which the basic needs of asylum seekers are provided for directly through a largely cash-less system, with no access to social welfare) was brought to Ireland’s High Court on a number of grounds: the lack of legal basis for Direct Provision; that the Direct Provision system is a violation of the rights to family and private life, of the child, and of personal choice and autonomy, freedom of movement and residence under the Irish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter Of Fundamental Rights. The applicants (an adult and a child) are also challenging the refusal to consider the adult’s right to work and the exclusion of asylum seekers and persons seeking subsidiary protection from accessing social welfare.

Finally, the report highlights also a significant change in the Refugee Appeals Tribunal’s practice, as its decisions are now publicly available.

This report is part of the Asylum Information Database (AIDA), a project of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), in partnership with Forum Refugiés-Cosi, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Irish Refugee Council. AIDA focuses on asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention of asylum seekers in EU Member States.

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This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 13 June 2014.
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