From the Exploring Direct Provision project by UCD law lecturer Liam Thornton; at a direct provision protest; Liam Thornton
Law lecturer at University College Dublin Liam Thornton has today published 2,000-plus pages of material that he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act pertaining to direct provision.
It includes correspondence between the Department of Justice, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Housing and the HSE, between 1997 and 2018.
It follows months of work by Mr Thornton.
The Direct Provision Files
Previously: Preventing Social Amnesia (2013)
Nineteen years ago today, the weekly rates of State allowance for people living in Direct Provision were set by Government officials.
The rates were IR£15 (€19.10) per adult and IR£7.50 (€9.60) per child.
Since last August 2017, the rates were increased to €21.60 per child and adult.
This morning law lecturer at University College Dublin Liam Thornton launched a new website which, for the next year, will make available key documents on the system of direct provision obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Mr Thornton writes that the project will explore:
Making available previously unreleased documents on the creation of the system of direct provision. Contextualising the significant milestones as regards the creation and operationalisation of the system of direct provision.
The arguments engaged in between Government Departments and officials as regards responsibility for the system of direct provision.
The role of the narrative of reform, something ever present within governmental discourses on direct provision.
The negation of law and legalism until July 2018, and explaining the limits of law and human rights discourses in challenging direct provision.
Exploring Direct Provision
Further to the Supreme Court’s decision earlier today.
That the absolute ban prohibiting asylum seekers from work is unconstitutional.
And the court adjourning the matter for six months to allow the Oireachtas decide how to address the situation.
On the Human Rights In Ireland blog…
Law lecturer at University College Dublin Liam Thornton writes:
The ball is now firmly in the court of the Oireachtas. However, the Oireachtas must be reminded (contact your TD here), that they are not starting from a blank slate.
First, the Irish High Court has already ruled that maladministration in rendering of a lawful decision on a protection claim may result in damages being awarded to an asylum seeker. Therefore, whatever course of action the Oireachtas takes, lets get this right.
There has to be some focus on the ability of our quasi-judicial bodies who determine protection claims to do their work efficiently, but most importantly to be fair to asylum applicants.
Second, It would appear, that if Ireland became part of how European Union society deals with this question, then our Parliamentarians need to look no further than EU law for a solution to this constitutional protection of asylum seekers right to work.
The Recast Reception Directive (which Ireland is not bound by), provides asylum seekers a right to work should generally be granted after 9 months where a first instance decision has not been rendered on a refugee/protection claim. The McMahon Working Group on the Protection Process and Directive Provision made a recommendation (para 5.49) that once the International Protection Act 2015 was operating efficiently, that Ireland abide by this 9-month rule.
Whatever the Oireachtas decide, this constitutional right of asylum seekers to have a freedom to enter employment must be effective, and not illusory (borrowing how the European Court of Human Rights insists on the realness of granted rights).
Asylum seekers and the right to work: The Supreme Court decision (Liam Thornton, Human Rights in Ireland blog)