Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority

Republic of Ireland

Country Report: Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority Last updated: 30/11/20


Irish Refugee Council Visit Website

Name in English

Number of staff

Ministry responsible

Is there any political interference possible by the responsible Minister with the decision making in individual cases by the determining authority?

International Protection Office (IPO)


Department of Justice


Up until January 2017, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) was the body responsible for registering asylum applications and making the first instance decision. With the introduction of the IPA, ORAC was replaced by the International Protection Office (IPO), which carries out asylum registration and decision-making duties under the umbrella of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in the Department of Justice and Equality.


The IPO’s role involves making recommendations to the Minister for Justice on an applicant’s eligibility for refugee status, subsidiary protection and permission to remain under the single procedure. This system replaces the previous multi-layered process overseen by ORAC that was fraught with administrative delays and backlogs. At the end of 2019, the IPO was composed of a total of 149 staff.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation