DIS v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Ors

Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Ors
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2002] 8 ICLMD 84
Judgment Date/s:07 May 2002
Category:Refugee Law
Keywords:Dublin Convention, Dublin Regulation, Refugee, Refugee Law, Refugee Status

The applicant had a visa for entry into Germany and came to Ireland and applied for asylum. The Refugee Applications Commissioner decided that the provisions of the Dublin Convention applied. The applicant raised a number of issues. The applicant claimed that the Refugee Applications Commissioner should have conducted an interview prior to deciding that the Convention applie rather than making its decision on the basis of the questionnaire. The decision also concerned the issue of family unity when making decisions under the Convention as the applicant’s husband was having his case assessed in Ireland.

The Court held that there was no obligation on the Commissioner to hold an interview because there was no inhibition on the applicant presenting whatever evidence she considered relevant to the Commissioner. The Court also held that there was no necessary inhibition in the applicant being returned to Germany to have her application considered there while her husband’s application was determined in Ireland as the Commissioner has discretion regarding whether to transfer.

The Court further held that the decision of the Commissioner was extinguished in its effect as it was followed by the decision of the Tribunal and that Article 3 of the Dublin Convention, when interpreted in light of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, confers a right but not a duty on Member States to examine claims for asylum


The decision of the Commissioner to transfer an applicant pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 is extinguished in its effect when followed by a decision of the Tribunal. The Commissioner has discretion to decide whether an application should be transferred to a convention country for examination. Article 3 of the Dublin Convention confers a right, but not a duty, on Member States to examine claims for asylum.

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