Print this page

Legal Framework

Ireland is a State party to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol (acceded to on 29th November 1956 and 6th November 1968 respectively).

Ireland is also a signatory to the EU Dublin Regulation (EC 343/2003)*, which succeeded the Dublin Convention, under which the State responsible for examining applications for asylum lodged in one of the Contracting States of the Regulation (EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) is determined.

The principal piece of domestic legislation dealing with refugees and asylum seekers is the Refugee Act 1996, which entered into force in November 2000. The 1996 Act incorporates the 1951 Geneva Convention into domestic law. It provides for the establishment of ORAC as well as the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and sets out a framework for the determination of asylum applications. (The 1996 Act has been amended by the Immigration Act 1999, the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000, the Immigration Act 2003 and the Immigration Act 2004).

* COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third country national.

^ Back to top