Dublin

Republic of Ireland

Country Report: Dublin Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Irish Refugee Council Visit Website

General

 

Dublin statistics: 2019

Outgoing procedure

Incoming procedure

 

Requests

Transfers

 

Requests

Transfers

Total

1,760

26

Total

200

23

Germany

223

1

United Kingdom

145

9

Sweden

55

1

Germany

6

2

United Kingdom

229

24

Netherlands

3

2

Other

1,253

 

Cyprus

4

2

 

 

 

France

19

2

 

 

 

Greece

6

2

 

 

 

Iceland

1

1

 

 

 

Austria

0

1

 

 

 

Norway

2

1

 

 

 

Switzerland

3

1

 

 

 

Other

11

 

Take charge

1,074

 

Take charge

20

 

Italy

343

 

Greece

5

 

Croatia

143

 

United Kingdom

4

 

United Kingdom

112

 

Germany

3

 

Germany

89

 

Cyprus

2

 

Hungary

88

 

Romania

1

 

Greece

80

 

Spain

1

 

Spain

67

 

France

1

 

France

34

 

Netherlands

1

 

Belgium

34

 

Croatia

1

 

Netherlands

19

 

Norway

1

 

Austria

13

 

 

 

 

Switzerland

12

 

 

 

 

Denmark

10

 

 

 

 

Bulgaria

7

 

 

 

 

Poland

5

 

 

 

 

Malta

5

 

 

 

 

Sweden

3

 

 

 

 

Portugal

2

 

 

 

 

Czech Republic

2

 

 

 

 

Slovenia

2

 

 

 

 

Norway

1

 

 

 

 

Slovak Republic

1

 

 

 

 

Romania

1

 

 

 

 

Cyprus

1

 

 

 

 

Take back

686

 

Take back

180

 

Germany

134

 

United Kingdom

141

 

United Kingdom

117

 

France

18

 

France

95

 

Italy

7

 

Greece

63

 

Switzerland

3

 

Sweden

52

 

Germany

3

 

Italy

39

 

Cyprus

2

 

Denmark

22

 

The Netherlands

2

 

Spain

22

 

Belgium

1

 

Austria

21

 

Norway

1

 

Netherlands

17

 

Greece

1

 

Switzerland

16

 

Iceland

1

 

Belgium

14

 

 

 

 

Hungary

10

 

 

 

 

Norway

10

 

 

 

 

Bulgaria

9

 

 

 

 

Poland

7

 

 

 

 

Iceland

5

 

 

 

 

Slovenia

5

 

 

 

 

Portugal

5

 

 

 

 

Finland

5

 

 

 

 

Luxembourg

5

 

 

 

 

Romania

4

 

 

 

 

Malta

3

 

 

 

 

Cyprus

2

 

 

 

 

Croatia

2

 

 

 

 

Czech Republic

1

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

1

 

 

 

 

 

Source: IPO.

 

Outgoing Dublin requests by criterion: 2019

Dublin III Regulation criterion

Requests sent

Requests accepted

Take charge”: Articles 8-15

1,074

:

Article 14(1)

880

:

Article 12(2) or (3)

106

:

Article 12(1) or (3)

43

:

Article 12(4)

25

:

Article 13(1)

12

:

Article 17(2)

3

:

Article 13(2)

3

:

Article   8

1

:

Article 11

1

:

“Take back”: Article 18

686

:

Article 18(1)(b)

684

:

Article 18(1)(c)

0

:

Article 18(1)(d)

2

:

Article 20(5)

0

:

 

Source: IPO.

 

Incoming Dublin requests by criterion: 2019

Dublin III Regulation criterion

Requests sent

Requests accepted

Take charge”: Articles 8-15

20

:

Article 17(2)

5

:

Article   8

5

:

Article 12(1) or (3)

2

:

Article 12(2)

1

 

Article 12(4)

2

:

Article 13(2)

1

:

Article  9

1

:

Article 14(1)

1

:

Article 11

1

:

Article 13(1)

1

:

“Take back”: Article 18

180

:

Article 18(1)(b)

175

:

Article 18(1)(c)

0

:

Article 18(1)(d)

5

:

Article 20(5)

0

:

 

Source: IPO.

 

The Dublin Regulation is implemented by the Dublin Unit of the IPO. The unit is responsible for determining whether applicants should be transferred to another State or have their application assessed in Ireland. The unit also responds to requests from other Member States to transfer applicants to Ireland. The Arrangements Unit of the Immigration Service Delivery is responsible for handling outgoing transfers under the Dublin Regulation.

The European Union (Dublin System) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 62 of 2018) were adopted in 2018.

 

Procedure

 

As part of the general application procedure, all applicants are photographed and fingerprinted, (with the exception of applicants believed by the relevant officer to be under the age of 14 years old and not accompanied by a parent or guardian) during their initial interview with IPO (see section on Registration). As part of the process applicants and dependent children are required to have photographs taken. They are also required to have their and their dependent children’s fingerprints taken. Fingerprints may be disclosed in confidence to the relevant Irish authorities and to asylum authorities of other countries which may have responsibility for considering the application under the Dublin Regulation.

Section 19 IPA sets out the procedure for members of the Garda Síochána or immigration officers to take fingerprints for the purposes of (a) establishing the identity of a person for any purpose concerned with the implementation of the IPA, and (b) checking whether the person has previously lodged an application for international protection in another Member State.[2] Where a person refuses to provide their fingerprints, they shall be deemed not to have made reasonable efforts to establish their identity and shall be deemed to have failed to fulfil their obligation to cooperate with the application process.[3] The IPA does not legislatively provide for the use of force to take fingerprints, however, as not volunteering to provide fingerprints is viewed as a failure to make reasonable efforts to establish one’s identity (in line with Section 20(1) IPA setting out grounds for detention), applicants who refuse to be fingerprinted may be detained. 

In relation to specific guarantees for children in the Dublin procedure, the IPO is required under Regulation 3(b) of the European Union (Dublin System) Regulations 2018 to consult with Tusla, the Irish Child and Family Agency, on the best interests of the child particularly with respect to the child’s well-being and social development and the views of the child. No information is available on the practice under the new single procedure.

 

Personal interview

 

At any time during the initial asylum process, the IPO may determine that a person is subject to the Dublin III Regulation and hold a personal interview where necessary to conduct the Dublin procedure.[4]

Limited information is available on how Dublin procedure interviews are conducted in practice but applicants are provided with the common information leaflet stating that they are in the Dublin procedure. However, it is not always clear that the asylum seeker understands that they are having a specific Dublin procedure interview. Anecdotal evidence suggests it seems to be presented as an interview just asking questions about the person’s journey to Ireland without fully explaining the implications in terms of which country is responsible for the person’s asylum application and that it means that the person may be transferred there. The onus is placed on the asylum seeker to be able to read the Dublin information leaflet rather than ensuring that it is properly explained by the caseworker and not the interpreter at the Dublin personal interview.

 

Appeal

 

The appeal against a transfer decision must be lodged within 10 working days and has suspensive effect.[5]

The IPAT shall have regard to both the facts and law when considering appeals under the Dublin III Regulation. This is in accordance with Article 27 of the Dublin III Regulation which requires that a person shall have the right to an effective remedy, in the form of an appeal or a review, in fact and in law, against a transfer decision, before a Court or Tribunal.  

If the IPAT overturns the decision of the IPO, the applicant and their legal representative and the Commissioner and Minister are notified in writing. The IPAT may either affirm or set aside the transfer decision. When submitting a Dublin appeal to the IPAT, the person concerned can request that an oral hearing is conducted and the Tribunal may also hold an oral hearing even if the person concerned has not requested it if the IPAT is of the opinion that it is in the interests of justice to do so. No information is available on the current practice as the Irish system recently changed under the IPA.

There is no onward appeal of an IPAT decision on the Dublin Regulation, however, judicial review of the decision could be sought. There has been a long running issue over the remit of the IPAT’s appeal and whether they can apply the sovereignty clause under Article 17 themselves. These cases are pending at time of writing, however, in November 2017, the High Court referred a number of questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the application of the Dublin Regulation including on the issue of application of Article 17.

Some of the questions referred include: whether the words “determining Member State” in the Dublin III Regulation includes a state exercising an Article 17 function and whether the functions of a Member State under Article 6 (best interests of the child) include the discretion under Article 17 not to transfer. The CJEU delivered its ruling in January 2019 and stated that Member States are free to entrust to different authorities the task of applying the criteria defined by that Regulation relating to the determination of the Member State responsible and the task of applying the discretionary clause set out in that Regulation.[6] The Court of Appeal, considered this issue in the case N.V.U & Ors -v- The Refugee Appeals Tribunal & Ors[7]. Justice Baker stated, in a judgment delivered in June 2019, that she was not persuaded that the arguments made by the Irish Government that justify a departure from the plain meaning of the Irish Regulations of 2014, and that the jurisdiction to exercise the discretion to assume jurisdiction for which provision is made in article 17(1) is in a suitable case one that may be exercised by the determining body,  now IPO and IPAT. This decision is under appeal and will be heard by the Irish Supreme Court at the end of June 2020. 

In 2019, the IPAT received 148 appeals under the Dublin Regulation.[8]

 

Legal assistance

 

An applicant who is subject to the Dublin Regulation may access legal information through the Legal Aid Board. Technically this is not completely free legal representation as there is a small amount (€10) to be paid (see section on Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance). The Legal Aid Board has also issued guidance on the role of Private Practitioners on their panel as regards legal advice which shows that it also applies in the context of the Dublin procedure.[9] This assistance also applies to the appeal where legal representation is available. 

 

Suspension of transfers

 

There is no blanket suspension of transfers to any Member State in either law or policy.

Transfers to Greece were suspended following the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece. The Minister was asked to formally indicate that removals were suspended and that Ireland would take responsibility but he did not respond. The decision to consider such applications has not been set out in any publicly accessible record and it is not therefore known if it is policy not to transfer or decide on a case by case basis. In such cases where the IPO considers the substantive application, the applicant is able to remain in reception facilities until the application is fully determined.

In response to a Parliamentary Question from February 2017 enquiring whether the Department of Justice was intending to implement the 2016 European Commission proposal that States gradually resume transfers to Greece, previous Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald stated that “No transfers of unaccompanied minors are foreseen for the time being. The resumption of transfers is not to be applied retroactively and will only apply to applicants who have entered Greece irregularly from 15 March 2017 onwards or for whom Greece is responsible from this date under the Dublin Regulation criteria.”[10] Whether such transfers have occurred in practice since March 2017 is unknown at time of writing. In response to a request by the Irish Refugee Council, the IPO indicated that there have been 143 “take back” or “take charge” requests to Greece in 2019. [11] However, of the 26 transfers that took place in 2019, none where to Greece.[12]

                                                  

The situation of Dublin returnees

 

In response to a request by the Irish Refugee Council, the IPO indicated that they comply with the provisions of Article 31 (Exchange of relevant information before a transfer is carried out) and Article 32 (Exchange of health data before a transfer is carried out) of the Dublin Regulation in relation to incoming transfers.[13]

Under the previous system in cases where Ireland had agreed to take back an asylum seeker under the Regulation, the person could be detained on arrival and have difficulty in accessing the asylum procedure (possibly for a second time). If the person has already had a finally determined asylum application and seeks to make another asylum application they would have to make an application to the Minister under Section 22 IPA (see section on Subsequent Applications). It is possible that the authorities could invoke Section 5 of the Immigration Act 2003 which states that a person whom an immigration officer or a member of the Garda Síochána, with reasonable cause, suspects has been unlawfully in the State for a continuous period of less than three months, be removed from Ireland.

 


[1] In response to a request by the Irish Refugee Council on March 2020, the IPO indicated that they could not answer this question as they “transferred only 26 cases in 2019, there would be no statistical value in such a small sample.”

[2]Section 19(1) IPA.

[3] Section 19(4) IPA.

[4] Regulation 4 European Union (Dublin System) Regulations 2018.

[5] Regulations 6 and 8 European Union (Dublin System) Regulations 2018.

[6] C‑661/17, M.A., S.A., and Z.A. v Ireland, Judgment of 23 January 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2Rrhard.

[7]N.V.U & Ors -v- The Refugee Appeals Tribunal & Ors, Judgment of 26 June 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2MqWeON.

[8] IPAT, Annual Report 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2ZdNVxn, 37.

[9] See further Legal Aid Board, Best practice guidelines, February 2017.

[10] Response to Parliamentary Question 155, 28 February 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2DiG5YV.

[11] Information provided by IPO, March 2020.

[12]  Ibid.

[13] Information provided by IPO, August 2017.

 

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