The principal purpose of the International Protection Bill is the introduction of a single procedure for the examination of applications for international protection (or asylum) in Ireland, incorporating eligibility for refugee status and eligibility for subsidiary protection status. This is also to include, in the examination and determination at first instance, the assessment of any other grounds being presented by the applicant for permission to remain in the State.
The publication of the General Scheme of the Bill is an important step in delivering on the range of actions set out in the Statement of Government Priorities 2014-2016 in relation to the review and reform of the asylum system. It specifically aims to deliver on the Government’s undertaking to legislate to reduce the length of time an asylum applicant spends in the direct provision system through the establishment of a single applications procedure. The Government approved the drafting of the Bill along the lines of the General Scheme on 24 March 2015.