Limerick migrant organisation Doras concerned that fast-tracking protection applications may negate fair hearings

Doras chief executive John Lannon

THE CEO of Limerick-based migrant and refugee rights organisation Doras has expressed concern that a fast-tracked assessment process for international protection applicants may prevent those seeking shelter in Ireland from getting a fair hearing.

John Lannon spoke to the Limerick Post in the wake of the European Parliament’s approval of the EU Migration and Asylum Pact.

“There are aspects of the pact that are worrying. It contains mechanisms that will limit access to the international protection process in Europe, and will make it harder for people who need to seek international protection or asylum to present their claim in a fair way,” he said.

The Doras CEO added that accelerated procedures involving short timeframes for interviews, limited or no access to legal advice, and inadequate assessments of applicants’ vulnerability “are all problematic. Speedy processing of applications always needs to be balanced with the rights people have to a fair assessment of their application.”

“We’re also concerned about what’s called the border procedure. In Ireland, the Minister for Justice’s statement on March 27th said that those who are processed under it will not be authorised to enter Ireland and will be accommodated at designated locations. This seems to suggest some form of detention or restriction on movement,” he said.

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Mr Lannon also raised concerns about the possibility of outsourcing asylum application processing to other countries, which he said could “endanger the safety of people who are in need of protection, and would essentially undermine the principle of international protection.”