Monday, June 23, 2014


On Friday the 20th June last, Karen Berkeley from our offices presented a speech on statelessness for the conference 'Beyond the Single Procedure: Reforming Ireland's Protection System' held at University College Dublin’s Sutherland School of Law to mark World Refugee Day. Karen’s topic was Statelessness: Ireland’s obligations under the 1954 Convention relating to the status of Stateless persons.

Karen discussed the recent successful case of her client Mr Roman Uustalu who was granted the first declaration of stateless status in Ireland. Karen highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive legal framework to be implemented to fulfil Ireland’s obligations under the 1954 Convention. To see a summary of Karen’s speech, see the attached link:

Other important issues discussed were the asylum appeals backlog and the proposed single procedure reform to the asylum system.

It was noted that the delays in the high court for hearing appeals by asylum seekers whose refugee status applications have been rejected is one of the main reasons that people spend so long in direct provision centres. There are over 1,000 asylum cases waiting to be heard in the High Court. Barry Magee, the chairman of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, said that “It would take four years and seven months to get through the current cases on the list, without any new ones being added.”
He added that he would be willing to seek alternatives mechanisms to determine those cases. Sophie Magennis, the head of office with UNHCR in Ireland, delivered the keynote speech and offered alternative dispute resolution as a mechanism which could be considered as a means to reduce the backlog in the High Court.

Patricia Brazil, a barrister and lecturer in law at Trinity College Dublin, spoke about the history of the protection system and judicial review. She noted that it was surprising that Ireland’s figures for judicial review of asylum cases were not higher, given the fragmentation of the asylum system. 

Ms Magennis further noted that UNHCR welcome the proposed single procedure. She said that additional measures could also be introduced, such as the easing of restrictions of the direct provision system and greater access to integration supports for applicants.

Karen Berkeley
Brophy Solicitors

No comments:

Post a Comment