'Fast-track' deportation on Dail's immigration agenda
Published 23/01/2010 | 05:00
Measures to streamline the deportation of failed asylum seekers are set to be implemented speedily.
The new proposals are contained in immigration legislation which is currently before the Dail and expected to be given a higher status by the Government.
The plan is to eliminate multiple challenges by lawyers for a failed asylum applicant in the courts to prevent a deportation.
The streamlined judicial review process will mean that an asylum seeker can be granted only a single review of a ministerial decision in the courts.
This will allow all elements of an asylum application to be dealt with together, and if the claims are unsuccessful, the failed applicant will be liable for deportation without further challenges.
In certain cases, the deportation will go ahead, even if the legal objections have not been fully sorted out in the courts.
Some 60pc of judicial reviews in the High Court are related to asylum and immigration issues and they are costing the taxpayer about €12m a year.
The cost could rise significantly this year following Thursday's Supreme Court judgment that an asylum seeker was entitled to appeal against a deportation order -- unless existing legislation is rapidly changed.
Two out of the five Supreme Court judges gave a dissenting view that the decision would mean every attempt to deport a failed asylum seeker would end in the courts, "which are already swamped by such cases", and render the courts "virtually inoperable".
Fine Gael's immigration spokesman, Denis Naughten, claimed last night that the system was "nothing short of a mess" and called on the minister to immediately take action.
He suggested that High Court judges forego holidays to clear the backlog of asylum cases and called for a more transparent process to be put in place.