These Regulations are intended to give further effect in Irish law to the Directive on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status (Council Directive 2005/85/EC, also known as the Asylum Procedures Directive).
The Regulations purport to amend the Refugee Act 1996 in several important respects.
Sections 11 and 16 is amended to provide asylum applicants with the assistance of an interpreter in his or her interview with the Refugee Applications Commissioner and appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal where it is deemed necessary and possible.
Section 12 is amended to provide guidance to the Minister for Justice and Law Reform to in identifying certain States as safe countries of origin and to provide for a review of safe country designations where appropriate.
Section 17 is amended to provide that a person to whom the Minister has refused to give a declaration may not make a subsequent application for a declaration under this Act without the consent of the Minister and that such consent may only be given following a preliminary examination as to whether new elements or findings relating to the examination of whether the person qualifies as a refugee have arisen or been presented by the person, and shall be given if, following the preliminary examination, new elements or findings arise or are presented by the applicant which significantly add to the likelihood of the applicant qualifying as a refugee.
Section 22 is amended so that the Minister may designate a country as a safe third country of application for asylum where he is satisfied that an applicant for asylum will be treated in that country in accordance with principles including non-refoulement and the right to request refugee status and, if found to be a refugee, to receive protection in accordance with the Geneva Convention.