The International Protection Act 2015 (No. 66 of 2015) was signed by the President on 30 December 2015.
Key provisions of the Act are:
- the introduction of a single procedure for applications for international protection encompassing an examination and determination of eligibility for international protection (refugee or subsidiary protection) and permission to remain. Under the single procedure, an applicant will make one application only and will have all grounds determined in one process.
- the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner to be subsumed into the Department of Justice and Equality as part of the new dedicated “Protection Office”.
- the Refugee Appeals Tribunal to be re-established as the International Protection Appeals Tribunal with enhanced provisions relating to efficiency of business and consistency of decisions.
- enhanced measures to improve the efficiency of the asylum system including, designation of safe countries of origin, prioritisation of applications, acceleration of certain appeals, and the engagement under contracts of services of persons to assist in the processing of applications.
- specific guarantees for applicants who are unaccompanied minors including the appointment of a person by the Child and Family Agency to represent and assist the child throughout the application process.
- if international protection is refused, applicants may be given permission to remain in the State in compliance with Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- applicants who are refused permission to be in the State on all grounds and who do not opt for voluntary return will be subject to a deportation order to be made under the new legislation and, if necessary, enforced under the Immigration Acts.
- the updating and enhancement of the national laws in respect of the EU Directive for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons to the territory of the Union.
- the statutory basis for Ireland’s refugee resettlement programme is maintained.
- the amendment of the Immigration Acts in the areas of the removal of foreign nationals from the State, the civilianisation of border control duties, the designation of approved ports for immigration purposes and absolute clarity of the power of the Executive in relation to the entry into and presence in the State of foreign nationals.
To read the International Protection Act 2015, click here