Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (155)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

156 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if corroborative evidence was sought from the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the case of application for refugee status in the name of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8215/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Under the Refugee Act 1996, two independent statutory offices have been established to consider applications for refugee status and to make recommendations to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on whether such status should be granted. These two offices are the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, which considers applications for a declaration of refugee status at first instance, and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, which considers applications for a declaration at appeal stage.

While it would not be appropriate to comment on individual applications for refugee status, in order to protect the confidentiality of the asylum process and in accordance with UNHCR advice and best practice generally, authorities of an applicant's country of origin are not contacted to corroborate features of an application.