Where an asylum seeker is detained, they must be informed, where possible in a language that they understand, that they shall be brought before a District Court judge as soon as practicable to determine whether or not they should be committed to a place of detention or released pending consideration of the asylum application under Section 20 IPA.
If the District Court judge commits the person to a place of detention, that person may be detained for further periods of time (each period not exceeding 21 days) by order of a District Court. However, if during the period of detention the applicant indicates a desire to voluntarily leave, they will be brought before the District Court in order that arrangements may be made.
The lawfulness of detention can be challenged in the High Court by way of an application for habeas corpus.
The question of whether grounds for detention continue to exist must be re-examined by the District Court judge every 21 days. In addition to this form of review, a detained asylum-seeker can challenge the legality of the detention in habeas proceedings under Article 40(4) of the Constitution in the High Court. The Legal Aid Board provides representation for those detained in the District Court under Section 20 IPA.