Today, the Exploring Direct Provision project launches the Reception Conditions Decisions Database. Since June 2018, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) has had jurisdiction to determine certain issues regarding an individual’s reception rights under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018. The decisions released today were obtained under two Freedom of Information Act 2014 requests. This was due to IPAT’s decision archive not placing these decisions on the database. The database makes available (as of 25 November 2019), thirty decisions that have been made by IPAT on the 2018 Regulations since September 2018 to July 2019.
The extension of IPAT’s remit was met with some concern by the Chairperson of IPAT in July 2018. Chairperson Becker expressed concerns in an email to the Department of Justice, that:
- IPAT did not have capacity to potentially engage with challenges to reception rights, due to already operating at a reduced level due to the Department of Justice not providing necessary resources to effectively operate IPAT, which they had previously agreed to provide; and,
- Questioned whether extending IPAT’s jurisdiction over reception rights was lawful, in light of the International Protection Act 2015, which only permits IPAT to determine, on appeal, protection claims. On this issue, this concern is lessened by the fact that the 2018 Regulations explicitly extended jurisdiction to IPAT on certain reception rights matters (on appeal), and this may be viewed as an act done ‘necessitated by‘ Ireland’s obligations under the Reception Conditions Directive (Recast) 2013.
- Several other concerns on the precise operation of protection applicants appeal rights under the 2018 Regulations.
I do hope the decision database will assist legal practitioners and persons seeking protection in challenging decisions under the 2018 Regulations.
Liam is a socio-legal human rights academic in UCD School of Law.