Latest update 11th January 2020
Notice regarding on- site hearings before
the International Protection Appeals Tribunal for January 2021
As we continue to live and work under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions and in line with recent government announcements, the Tribunal wishes to confirm that it is is not in a position to facilitate on-site hearings up to and including Thursday 28 January 2021.
(Please note details and next steps below)
A communication will issue to each legal representative/appellant directly with regard to the postponement of any affected hearing.
· The Tribunal is now in a position to conduct some appeal hearings by way of audio-video link using the web conferencing platform – Webex. The Tribunal will be in direct contact with legal representatives and appellants in each affected appeal case where an audio-video hearing may be suitable.
The Tribunal, as an essential service, will continue to carry out its functions.
· It is also open to appellants to withdraw their request for an oral hearing and to have their appeal dealt with on the papers, if the Tribunal Member to whom the appeal has been assigned, is of the opinion that such a course of action is in accordance with fair procedures and natural justice. Again, the Tribunal will be in direct contact with legal representatives and appellants in each affected case.
· New appeals will be accepted,
However, in line with the current COVID-19 public health advice we will be limiting the number of staff attending the Tribunal’s premises and staff will be working remotely, in so far as possible.
Therefore, all correspondence and communication with the Tribunal should be by email to email@example.com
· Appeal decisions will be issued,
· All correspondence and submissions will be accepted.
· Please quote your / your client’s Person ID Number and IPAP number in the subject header.
11 January 2021
IPAT Information Notes
Latest update 23rd December 2020
Postponement of onsite oral hearing before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal
As you will be aware the Government announced, on the 22nd December 2020, that from midnight on 24th December until 12th January 2021, Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions will apply nationally.
In light of the announced restrictions the International Protection Appeals Tribunal will not be in a position to facilitate on site hearings up to, and including, Thursday 14th January 2021. The Tribunal will review the situation on the 12th of January 2021 and will be guided by any further Government announcements on COVID-19 restrictions.
A communication will issue to each legal representative/appellant directly with regard to the postponement of affected hearing.
· Where suitable, the Tribunal is now in a position to conduct some appeal hearings by way of audio-video link using the web conferencing platform – Webex. The Tribunal will be in direct contact with legal representatives and appellants in each affected appeal case where an audio-video hearing may be suitable.
· It is also open to appellants to withdraw their request for an oral hearing and to have their appeal dealt with on the papers, if the Tribunal Member assigned to determine their appeal is of the opinion that such a course of action is in accordance with fair procedures and natural justice. Again the Tribunal will be in direct contact with legal representatives and appellants in each affected case.
Latest update 27th November 2020
Recommencement of onsite oral hearings before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal
On site oral hearings will recommence on Tuesday 1st December 2020.
Following the government announcement on Friday 27th November that Ireland will be placed on Level 3 of the Plan for Living with COVID, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal is pleased to confirm that on site hearings will recommence with from Tuesday 1st December 2020.
Hearings already scheduled from 1st December, 2020 remain as scheduled and will proceed.
Latest update 20th October 2020
International Protection Appeals Tribunal
Postponement of onsite oral hearings for six weeks with effect from Thursday 22nd October 2020
Following the government announcement on Monday 19th October 2020 that, as of midnight on Wednesday 21st October, all of Ireland will be placed on Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal is postponing all scheduled on site hearings with effect from Thursday 22nd October 2020.
Each applicant and their legal representative will receive an official notification with regard to the next steps with regard to rescheduling or, if suitable, opting for an audio video hearing or dealing with the appeal on a papers only basis. The Tribunal, as an essential service, will continue conducting business and accepting new notices of appeal and finalising appeals that have already received an oral hearing or are being dealt with on a papers only basis.
Latest update 7th October 2020
Following the introduction of Level 3 Covid restrictions across Ireland from midnight 6th October 2020, hearings before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) will continue to proceed as scheduled. The Tribunal provides an essential service and travel to and from it for the purpose of attending hearings is an essential reason which permits travel under the Level 3 Covid restrictions now in place country wide. We wish to assure Tribunal users that a health and safety risk assessment has been carried out in relation to the Covid-19 control measures in place in the Tribunal and we have been advised that hearings can proceed. Please click HERE for details of the control measures in place.
COVID-19 FAQ Update 4th August 2020
The Tribunal has updated its COVID-19 FAQ as follows HERE
Any queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE ON THE RESUMPTION OF ‘ON SITE’ HEARINGS
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal will recommence oral hearings on 6 August 2020. An updated "Administrative Practice Note" has been prepared for participants at Tribunal hearings to set out the changes to Tribunal practice and procedure in light of Covid-19 and this Notice is to assist Tribunal users with our changes.
Risk assessments have been undertaken, remedial works carried out and we have worked with health and safety experts to ensure, as far as possible, the health and safety of all who attend the Tribunal premises at Hanover Street. The health and safety of all staff and Tribunal users is of paramount concern to the Tribunal.
Upon arrival at the Tribunal premises, all hearing participants must check in at the security desk in the main foyer. Once they have identified themselves, legal practitioners, appellants, witnesses and interpreters will proceed straight to the assigned hearing room. If an appellant or witness arrives before or after their legal representative, they will be brought to the reception area before being escorted to the assigned hearing room. It is recommended that legal practitioners arrange, where possible, to meet appellants and witnesses before they arrive at the building itself. In order to comply with social distancing requirements, arrival times and hearing times have been staggered. If a hearing participant arrives early, they will not be permitted to enter the building until their scheduled time.
Appellants and other participants in the hearing are requested to arrive on time and it should be noted that only those participating in the hearings will be permitted to enter the building.
All parties are requested to wear face coverings while in the public areas of the building; the wearing of face masks in the hearing rooms is encouraged.
Hand sanitising stations are widely available throughout the building. These should be used upon arrival at the building, on entering a hearing, and when leaving the building
The Tribunal is not in a position to provide pens, paper, water, or photocopying facilities. Parties and other participants in the hearing must provide their own stationery and any other items required.
Interpreters will sign the necessary documentation in the hearing room using their own pen and the Tribunal Member conducting the hearing will collect those documents for submission to the Tribunal administration.
Witnesses will be required to wait in a specially allocated room, adhering to social distancing requirements, until their presence is required in the hearing.
After the hearing, reception staff will be contacted by the Tribunal Member and the staff will escort the parties and other participants in the hearing from the building.
Latest Update 29th May 2020
Following the Taoiseach’s announcement on Friday 1 May 2020, and in light of the fact that the State has now entered Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap (https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/) and in the interests of the health and safety of appellants, Tribunal Members and staff of the Tribunal as well as our stakeholders and public health more generally, the Tribunal has decided to take the following steps:
In the week starting 25th May 2020, the Tribunal has resumed the issuing of decisions, which have been completed and signed by Tribunal Members. However, due to the current restrictions, staff attendance must be limited and, while the Tribunal will strive to issue all outstanding decisions as soon as possible, the Tribunal asks that appellants and their legal representatives continue to be patient. The Tribunal is aware of the anxiety and uncertainty of people who are awaiting their decisions, and the decisions will be issued as quickly as possible within the current restrictions.
· All hearings remain postponed until further notice;
· In compliance with the restrictions initially imposed on Friday 27 March 2020 and extended on Friday 10 April 2020 and Friday 1 May 2020, the majority of the staff of the Tribunal are currently working remotely away from the Tribunal premises at Hanover Street. Therefore persons wishing to contact the Tribunal are asked to do so by email to email@example.com rather than by post;
Please also see the Covid-19 FAQ section HERE – this section is updated regularly. If your query is not addressed there, please submit your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow the international Protection Appeals Tribunal on Twitter - @IpatTribunal
International Protection Appeals Tribunal Annual Report 2019
International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) Annual Report 2019
I am pleased to present to you the Annual Report of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal for the year 2019.
Over the year, the Tribunal has continued to increase its output and in many ways, 2019 could be considered the Tribunal’s first year of reaching full operational capacity with the Tribunal Members having gained the necessary experience in this complex area of law and having fully developed their skills as quasi-judicial decision makers. Moreover, vacancies in the staff complement of the Tribunal were mostly filled by the end of the year, thereby enabling the Registrar of the Tribunal, Pat Murray, to increase the efficiency of the administration of the Tribunal.
As a result, over the two-year period from 2017 to 2019, the Tribunal’s overall output regarding decisions and otherwise completed appeals increased by 221%; and I look forward to being in a position to measure 2019’s output against what we are working towards in 2020, and I am confident we will be reporting further improvements, in particular with regard to processing times.
I would like to thank the Department of Justice and Equality for its collegiality and provision of support to the Tribunal throughout 2019 and for working with the Tribunal on establishing new governance structures in the context of the Department’s own Transformation Programme and in consideration of the Tribunal’s status as a quasi-judicial body that is independent in the performance of its functions.
I am grateful also to the Registrar, Deputy Chairpersons, staff and Members of the Tribunal for the extraordinary effort they are making at this difficult time, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the excellent work of the Tribunal continues, and in particular that this Annual Report could be completed on time and in line with the Tribunal’s statutory duties.
The full report can be accessed HERE
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal was established in accordance with section 61 of the International Protection Act 2015. The International Protection Act 2015 was commenced on 31 December 2016, at which time the functions of the former Refugee Appeals Tribunal transferred to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.
The Tribunal decides appeals of those persons whose application for International Protection status has not been recommended by the International Protection Office. The Tribunal also determines appeals under the Dublin System Regulations.
The Tribunal is a statutorily independent body and exercises a quasi-judicial function under the International Protection Act 2015. The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson, 2 deputy chairpersons, and such number of ordinary members appointed on either a whole-time or part-time capacity as the Minister for Justice & Equality, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, considers necessary for the expeditious dispatch of the business of the Tribunal. (Click here for full list of Tribunal Members).
Staff are assigned to the Tribunal from the Department of Justice & Equality.
The Office of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, is located at:
6/7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320
Telephone: + 353 (0) 1 474 8400
Lo Call: 1890 201 458
An binse um Achomhairc i dtaobh Cosaint Idirnáisiúnta
6/7 Sráid Hanover Thoir, Baile Átha Cliath D02 W320
Teileafón (01) 474 8400
Lo Call: 1890 201 458
International Protection Appeals Tribunal Annual Report 2018
After a year of transition in 2017, following the coming into force of the International Protection Act 2015 on the 31st of December 2016, the Tribunal started the year 2018 with a caseload of 653. The number of appeals submitted to the Tribunal increased steadily throughout the year, reaching a missing total of 2,127 international protection and Dublin Regulation appeals by the end of December 2018, compared to a total of 887 such appeals reaching the Tribunal in 2017, an increase of 140%.
Additionally, following the expansion of the remit of the Tribunal to deal with appeals under the European Union (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018, the Tribunal received 24 ‘reception conditions appeals’, amounting to a total of 2,151 appeals reaching the Tribunal in 2018.
The Tribunal has undergone a thorough review of its work processes and has further improved its efficiencies, setting it on target for achieving its mission of determining all appeals as expeditiously as may be consistent with fairness and natural justice, and with respect for the dignity of all applicants.
In that regard, I am particularly grateful to the Registrar, staff and Members of the Tribunal who, through a concerted effort, increased efficiencies in the processing of appeals throughout the year, leading to 1,714 appeals being scheduled for hearing, an increase of 181% when compared to the number of hearings scheduled in the previous year. By year end, the number of decisions issued by the Tribunal totalled 1,092, an increase of 80% from 2017.
I would like to thank the Department of Justice and Equality for its collegiality and provision of support to the Tribunal throughout 2018 and look forward to our ongoing collaboration in the coming years.
The 2018 Annual Report can be viewed Here
Annual Report of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal 2017
I am pleased to make available the first Annual Report of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the Tribunal officials and Members over the past year and to thank the Minister for Justice and Equality and his Department for their ongoing support.
Click http://www.protectionappeals.ie/website/rat/ratweb.nsf/page/MXKY-AYUEDB11322417-en/$File/IPAT%20Annual%20Report%202017.pdf" title="HERE" target="_blank" class="externalLink" >HERE to view the 2017 Annual report
Chairperson International Protection Appeals Tribunal
Appointment of Chairperson of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal
Following a competition under s.47 of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004, Hilkka Becker has been appointed as Chairperson of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal by the Minister for Justice and Equality with effect from 29thJanuary 2018.
Hilkka had served as interim Chairperson since April 2017 and prior to that as Deputy Chairperson since the establishment of the Tribunal on the 31st of December 2016.
On behalf of the staff of the Tribunal I wish Hilkka every success in her role and look forward to continuing to work with her.
Latest News: International Protection Act 2015
New arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and permission to remain in the State have been introduced in the International Protection Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) which was commenced by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality on 31 December 2016. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal has been replaced by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.
The 2015 Act contains transitional provisions dealing with appeals lodged with the Refugee Appeals Tribunal prior to the commencement of the 2015 Act. It is recommended that you consult with your legal adviser if you have any concerns.
International Protection Act 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the International Protection Act 2015?
A: The 2015 Act sets up a new procedure for determining applications for refugee and subsidiary protection status. It contains transitional provisions dealing with appeals lodged with the Refugee Appeals Tribunal prior to the commencement of the 2015 Act.
Q: What will happen to my appeal once the Act commences?
A: This will depend on what type of appeal you have made to the Tribunal and where it is in the process.
Q: I have made an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal against a recommendation to refuse me Refugee status. What happens now?
A: If your appeal has not been decided by the 31st of December 2016, the commencement date of the new Act, you are deemed to have made an application for international protection under the new Act.
Q: What does that mean?
A: Your file will be transferred to the International Protection Office who will consider whether you are eligible for subsidiary protection.
Q: Do I have to do anything?
A: The Minister will write to you informing you of what you have to do next.
Q: What happens to my current refugee appeal?
A: Your refugee appeal will be considered by the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal after the International Protection Office has decided whether you are eligible for subsidiary protection.
Q: What if they recommend that I am not eligible for subsidiary protection?
A: You can also appeal that recommendation to the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal.
Q: How do I appeal?
A: If there is a negative determination in relation to your subsidiary protection status you will be given details by the International Protection Office about how to appeal that decision to the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal
Q: If I submit an appeal against a recommendation to refuse me subsidiary protection status will my existing refugee appeal be dealt with separately?
A: No. If you submit an appeal against a recommendation to refuse subsidiary protection Status both appeals will be heard and decided together.
Subsidiary Protection Appeals:
Q: I have made an appeal against a recommendation to refuse me Subsidiary Protection status. What happens now?
A: Your Subsidiary Protection appeal will be heard and decided by the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal.
Q: Do I have to do anything?
A: No. You will be notified when your appeal is ready for hearing.
Dublin Regulation Appeals:
Q: I have made an appeal against a Transfer Decision made under the Dublin Regulation. What happens now?
A: Your appeal will be heard and decided by the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal.
Q: Do I have to do anything?
A: No. You will be notified when your appeal is ready for hearing.
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