Languishing in Direct Provision: Rights in ‘Reasonable’ and ‘Unreasonable’ Times

imagesThe length of time that asylum seekers reside within direct provision accommodation, continues to cause significant concern, as it has done so for almost seventeen years.  The practical impact of the implementation of the limited recommendations contained within the  McMahon Report still remains to be fully seen. The Minister for Justice and Equality has stated that 80% of all recommendations made by the McMahon Report are implemented or are being implemented. However, this claim has not to date been backed up with comprehensive assessment from the Department of Justice.  The commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, will hopefully ensure that persons in the protection system receive a fair, procedurally proper and clear decisions on whether they qualify for protection in a timely manner. However, as noted by David Costello, Chief International Protection Officer at a seminar last week, there are 4,000 cases to hand in the International Protection Office (IPO) due to the commencement of the International Protection Act. [With thanks to Fiona Finn, CEO of NASC for making me aware of this]. Oldest cases will be decided first. Those already with a negative determination of refugee status by the now abolished Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner under the old law, will return to the IPO for determination of their subsidiary protection claim. If subsidiary protection is rejected by the IPO decision maker, then both refugee and subsidiary protection appeals will be considered by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. Whether this impacts slightly or majorly on timely and fair delivery of protection decisions remains to be seen. A case decided last week may have significant impacts on the right to a timely decision on a protection claim. Continue reading “Languishing in Direct Provision: Rights in ‘Reasonable’ and ‘Unreasonable’ Times”

Languishing in Direct Provision: Rights in ‘Reasonable’ and ‘Unreasonable’ Times

Callelly judgment: High Court finds constitutional justice infringed by Seanad inquiry

Unsurprisingly, administrative law rarely appears on the ‘Human Rights in Ireland’ page.  Yet there is a proud and robust tradition in Irish administrative law of procedural fairness  imposed outside the criminal law context,  particularly in the context of the Tribunals of Inquiry (this, indeed, with its attendant rights to legal representation, being but one of the reasons for their impressive and controversial cost). Given the lofty philosophical pedigree of natural justice (aka procedural fairness) in the common law tradition – and its elevation to the bolstered status of “constitutional justice” within Article 40.3 of the Bunreacht – it seems appropriate to note here the judgment of the High Court today in Callelly v Moylan. The judicial review taken by Senator Callelly against the findings of a Seanad Committee Inquiry into allegations surrounding his now-notorious expenses claim for a West Cork home represents an interesting development in the law of procedural fairness as it applies to public inquiries. Continue reading “Callelly judgment: High Court finds constitutional justice infringed by Seanad inquiry”

Callelly judgment: High Court finds constitutional justice infringed by Seanad inquiry