Nasc calls on the Minister for Justice to take immediate measures to address the backlog of international protection cases.
The Department of Justice has released figures showing that the number of international protection cases pending in the International Protection Office is now at 5,279. This includes 2,646 people waiting between 12 and 24 months and 1,345 people waiting over 24 months for decisions to be issued in their cases.
It's time for the Minister for Justice to take immediate measures to address the backlog of cases and implement the recommendation in the Report of the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process (Day Report) to introduce a case processing panel with a view to granting anyone in the system for two years or longer (at the time of the report publication in September 2020) a permission to remain in the State.
Nasc’s CEO Fiona Finn comments,
“These figures are extraordinary. Despite the numbers of new applications for international protection dropping dramatically in 2020 – the State has been unable to make any significant dent in the backlog of cases. Each of these cases represents a life on hold because of the delays and deficiencies in the Irish system."
"We were disappointed to see that the White Paper on Ending Direct Provision, published last month, contained very little detail on the Department of Justice’s plans to work through the backlogs instead referring to a possible review in October 2022. This is simply too late – we cannot in good conscience ask people to spend another 18 months in limbo.
The Day Advisory Group undertook a detailed review of the International Protection system, with input from senior officials from the Department of Justice, and it is unclear why the Department of Justice is now ignoring those recommendations.”
(1) Figures on the backlog of cases provided to Thomas Gould TD in a Parliamentary Question (Written Response) No. 173 Question on 11th March 2021. Reference No: 13587/21