Sinnott Solicitors welcomes the establishment of a new Subsidiary Protection Determination Procedure in Ireland. The procedure came into effect on the 14th November 2013, by way of Statutory Instrument [PDF] No 426 of 2013

The Regulations have been made to address certain matters which arise from the judgment of the High Court in January 2013 in the case of MM and the Minister for Justice & Equality, Ireland and the Attorney General (No.3) (Record No. 2011/8JR). Pending consideration of the issues associated with the judgment and the making of the new Regulations, the processing of some 3,800 subsidiary protection claims was put on hold in the intervening period.

Subsidiary protection is granted by EU Member states to persons who are not eligible for refugee status but who might otherwise suffer serious harm if returned to their countries of origin.  In all other EU Member States, eligibility for refugee status and subsidiary protection status are assessed in a single procedure.

The new procedure which has now been established followed by the early introduction of a single procedure in 2014 will be important measures to reduce and eliminate delays in decision-making and to enhance the coherence and quality of international protection determination procedures in Ireland.

New arrangements to include interview of applicants

Unlike the current arrangement for the processing of applications for subsidiary protection, which is an entirely paper based exercise, the new Regulations provide for applicants to be interviewed as part of the first instance investigation of their application. In addition, in the event of a negative recommendation following the first instance investigation of their case, they will have the opportunity of an appeal.

Under the Regulations, responsibility for the processing of applications for subsidiary protection, both new cases and those on hand, will transfer from the Minister for Justice and Equality to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner. Appeals will be dealt with by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. Both of these offices are statutorily independent in their functions and they have substantial experience in the area of asylum applications investigations and appeals respectively.

Persons with subsidiary protection applications pending with the Minister were contacted in recent weeks to advise them that the introduction of the new arrangements was imminent. With the making of the Regulations, applicants will soon be again contacted to explain the new arrangements for the processing of their applications. The processing of applications on hand we understand are to commence with immediate effect

If you have any queries in relation to the new Subsidiary Protection procedure, contact the office of Sinnott Solicitors on 01-4062862 or use the enquiry form.