Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
162. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to a statement made by An Taoiseach in December 2020 regarding deportation orders (details supplied), the reason legal proceedings are continuing given ultimately they might end in a decision that necessitates deportation, for example, in cases in which an international protection applicant’s final appeal for permission to remain is denied; her views on whether this effectively constitutes a deportation order; if deportation orders are then being issued but not enforced; and if this technicality will be clarified. [24206/21]
My Department has adopted a pragmatic and compassionate approach to immigration arrangements in the context of COVID-19. In line with this approach, Deportation Orders are being enforced only in circumstances where an individual may be a threat to national security or whose presence in Ireland would be contrary to the public interest.
With regard to legal proceedings, it is the case that individual immigration applicants may decide to seek a judicial review of an adverse decision made in their case. Where such an application for judicial review is lodged, the Minister for Justice will typically be the respondent and will reserve the right to defend a lawfully made decision. It will then be a matter for the courts to adjudicate on the lawfulness of the decision, which is the subject of the legal proceedings.
The judicial review process is an important mechanism through which legal clarity and certainty can be brought to a particular immigration process or decision-making mechanism, and also through which important legal and administrative principles can be established, and reinforced, to guide future decision-making.
In the context of the international protection process, the statutory provisions in this area are well defined and are clearly set out in the International Protection Act 2015. Any person seeking international protection status will have all aspects of their case considered in detail before a decision is made. Such a decision would involve the granting of international protection status, or the refusal of international protection status but the granting of a permission to remain, or the refusal of both international protection status and permission to remain.
The issuing of letters recommending the refusal of international protection and permission to remain have been suspended since December and for the duration of Level 5 restrictions. The question of recommencing issuing these decisions will be kept under review in the coming weeks as the situation regarding international travel eases.
Any person who has been refused international protection and permission to remain will be made aware of their right to exercise the option of voluntary return; where they fail to do so, a Deportation Order will be made. Any such decision to make a Deportation Order will only be made after a fair and comprehensive examination of the facts and circumstances of the individual case has been conducted, including in relation to their right to a private and a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Furthermore, it is open to a person subject to a Deportation Order to make a request, under section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), to have that order revoked. Any such request will need to be founded on new information or materially changed circumstances which have arisen since the decision to make the Deportation Order was taken. Any request will be considered on its individual merits.