International Protection Appeals Tribunal
There is a Tribunal to be known as An Binse um Achomhairc i dtaobh Cosaint Idirnáisiúnta or, in the English language, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, which shall determine appeals and perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by or under the 2015 Act and the Dublin System Regulations.
the Tribunal shall be—
- inquisitorial in nature, and
- independent in the performance of its functions.
The Minister may appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the Tribunal as he or she considers necessary to assist the Tribunal in the performance of its functions and such members of the staff of the Tribunal shall receive such remuneration and be subject to such other terms and conditions of service as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.
Members of the staff of the Tribunal shall be civil servants within the meaning of the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005.
Whenever the Tribunal consists of more than one member, it shall be grouped into divisions, each of which shall consist of one member.
Membership of Tribunal
The Tribunal shall consist of the following members—
- a chairperson, who shall be appointed in a whole-time capacity,
- not more than 2 deputy chairpersons, who shall be appointed in a whole- time capacity, and
- such number of other members, appointed either in a whole-time or a part-time capacity, as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, considers necessary for the expeditious performance of the functions of the Tribunal,
each of whom shall have had before his or her appointment the appropriate experience specified.
The experience is not less than 5 years’ experience as a practising barrister or practising solicitor. The Minister shall appoint the members of the Tribunal.
The Minister shall not appoint a member of the Tribunal unless the Public Appointments Service, after holding a competition under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004, has selected him or her for appointment to the position. This does not apply to the reappointment of a member,for a second term.
Each member of the Tribunal appointed in a part-time capacity shall hold office under a contract for services in writing, containing such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration, allowances, expenses and superannuation) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may determine.
Terms of Office
The chairperson of the Tribunal and each member of the Tribunal appointed in a whole-time capacity, shall hold office under a contract of service in writing, containing such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration, allowances, expenses and superannuation) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may determine.
The term of office of the members of the Tribunal shall be as follows:
- the term of office of the chairperson shall be 5 years and a chairperson may be reappointed to the office for a second term not exceeding 5 years.
- the term of office of a deputy chairperson shall be 5 years and a deputy chairperson may be reappointed to the office for a second term not exceeding 5 years;
- the term of office of a member appointed in a whole-time capacity, other than the chairperson, shall be 3 years and such a member may be reappointed to the office for a second term not exceeding 3 years;
- the term of office of a member appointed in a part-time capacity shall be 3 years and such a member may be reappointed to the office for a second term not exceeding 3 years.
Where the chairperson is for any reason temporarily unable to act as the chairperson, or the office of the chairperson is vacant, the Minister shall appoint a deputy chairperson to be the chairperson for the duration of the inability or until an appointment is made as appropriate, and the person so appointed may perform all the functions conferred on the chairperson by the 2015 Act.
A member of the Tribunal may resign from office by letter addressed to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect from the date specified in the letter.
Functions of chairperson of Tribunal
The chairperson shall ensure that the functions of the Tribunal are performed efficiently, and that the business assigned to each member is disposed of as expeditiously as may be consistent with fairness and natural justice,
The chairperson may issue to the members of the Tribunal guidelines on the practical application and operation of the provisions or any particular provisions of this Part and on developments in the law relating to international protection.
The chairperson may, if he or she considers it appropriate to do so in the interest of the fair and efficient performance of the functions of the Tribunal, issue guidelines to the Registrar for the purpose of the performance of his or her functions of assigning or re-assigning appeals.
In issuing the guidelines referred to , the chairperson shall have regard to the following matters:
- the grounds of the appeals specified in the notices of appeal;
- the country of origin of applicants;
- any family relationship between applicants;
- the ages of the applicants and, in particular, of persons under the age of 18 years in respect of whom applications are made;
- the provisions of the 2015 Act under which the appeals are made.
The Chairman may re-assign business from one member to a different member if, in the opinion of the chairperson, such re-assignment—
- is warranted by the inability or unwillingness to transact that business of the member to whom the business was originally assigned, and
- where the business relates to an appeal, cannot be achieved by agreement between the Registrar and that member,
- require a member to prepare a report of his or her determination of each appeal within a period specified in the guidelines referred to and
- require a member to prepare a report on any aspect of the transaction of the business assigned to the member.
The chairperson may accord priority to an appeal when he or she is of the opinion that it is in the interests of justice to do so. The chairperson may from time to time convene a meeting with a member or members of the Tribunal for the purpose of discussing matters relating to the transaction of the business assigned to the member or members, including, in particular, such matters as the avoidance of undue divergences in the transaction of business by the members.
The chairperson shall convene a meeting of the members at least once a year to review the transaction of business by members and, where necessary, to make provision for training programmes for members.
The chairperson shall make the following written reports on the activities of the Tribunal:
- a report to the Minister in relation to any function that the chairperson performs under the 2015 Act, if requested to do so by the Minister or if the chairperson considers it appropriate to do so;
- an annual report to the Minister not later than 3 months after the end of each year, which the Minister shall cause to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas not more than 30 days after he or she receives it.
Where a member of the Tribunal fails to comply with a provision of section 65, the chairperson may make a written report to the Minister of this failure. Business” means the determination of appeals and any additional tasks assigned to a member by the chairperson in order to fulfil any other functions conferred on the Tribunal by or under the 2015 Act and the Dublin System Regulations.
A deputy chairperson of the Tribunal shall perform such of the functions of the chairperson under the 2015 Act as the chairperson may assign to him or her.
Role of Members of Tribunal
A member of the Tribunal shall, on behalf of the Tribunal, transact the business assigned to him or her under the 2015 Act. A member shall, in the performance of his or her functions under this Act—
- ensure that the business assigned to him or her is managed efficiently and disposed of as expeditiously as is consistent with fairness and natural justice,
- conduct oral hearings in accordance with the 2015 Act and any regulations.
- accord priority to an appeal to which section 63(5) applies that is assigned to him or her,
- have regard to any guidelines issued by the chairperson.
- prepare the report referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) of section 63(4)
- and provide it to the chairperson when requested to do so,
- attend any meetings convened by the chairperson unless it is impracticable to do so,
- provide such assistance to the chairperson in the performance by the chairperson of his or her functions under the 2015 Act as the chairperson may reasonably request, and
- comply with any direction given by the chairperson relating to training and the continued professional development of members.
The Minister shall appoint a person to be Registrar of the Tribunal. A person appointed shall perform the functions assigned to him or her by or under the 2015 Act. The Registrar shall be responsible to the chairperson for the performance of his or her functions.
Where the Registrar is for any reason temporarily unable to perform his or her function of assigning and re-assigning appeals or the position of Registrar is vacant, that function of the Registrar may be performed, for the duration of the inability or until an appointment is made by such member of the staff of the Tribunal as may, from time to time, be designated for that purpose by the Registrar, or (in the absence of such designation) by the Minister, and references in the 2015 Act to the Registrar shall be read as including references to a person designated under this subsection.
Functions of Registrar
The Registrar shall, in consultation with the chairperson—
- manage and control generally the staff and administration of the Tribunal, and
- perform such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by the chairperson.
The Registrar shall assign to each member the appeals to be determined by him or her. The Registrar may re-assign an appeal where the member to whom it was originally assigned is unable or unwilling to determine that appeal.
In assigning or re-assigning an appeal to a member the Registrar shall have regard to—
- the need to ensure the efficient management of the work of, and the expeditious performance of its functions by, the Tribunal, consistent with fairness and natural justice, and
- any guidelines issued by the chairperson.
The Registrar shall bring to the attention of the chairperson any matter relevant to the chairperson’s functions. The Registrar shall, whenever requested by the chairperson, assign to the chairperson appeals, or a particular appeal, to be determined by the chairperson under the 2015 Act.
In assigning an appeal the Registrar shall comply with any direction of the chairperson.
In making a request or giving a direction referred to in this subsection, the chairperson shall have regard to the matters referred to.