Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (474, 487)

Robert Dowds

Question:

474. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on his progress with promised immigration, residence and protection legislation; the way this legislation is likely to affect people already in the immigration system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30673/13]

View answer

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

487. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he expects to have the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30732/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 474 and 487 together.

I refer the Deputy to my reply to today's Parliamentary Questions 567 and 568 and Parliamentary Question No. 393 of 18 June 2013. The position remains the same:

Work on the details of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 is ongoing at my Department pursuant to current Government policy which is committed, under the Programme for National Recovery, to "introduce comprehensive reforms of the immigration, residency and asylum systems, which will include a statutory appeals system and set out rights and obligations in a transparent way". As I have outlined previously to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence, several hundred amendments to the Bill are anticipated, the majority of a technical nature. I also expressed the considered view that instead of engaging in an extremely cumbersome process of tabling hundreds of amendments to the 2010 Bill, it would be much more efficient to publish a new and enhanced text. Such an approach can incorporate the many anticipated amendments while addressing key outstanding issues, several of which have been of concern to Members including those being raised by the Deputy on this occasion. This proposition was broadly welcomed by the Joint Committee and work on the Bill continues, therefore, on that basis while also taking account of any intervening matters of relevance such as decisions by the Courts. It remains my objective under this new approach, and subject to having to deal with the competing legislative demands of our EU/IMF/ECB Programme commitments, to be in a position to bring a revised Bill to Government for approval and publication before the end of the year."

Pending the enactment and commencement of the new legislation and with a view to improving processing in the area of international protection, I am proposing to introduce new arrangements for the processing of subsidiary protection applications in light of recent judgments in the Superior Courts. My Department, in consultation with the Attorney General's Office, is developing a new legislative and administrative framework for the processing of current and future subsidiary protection applications. This work is being given high priority and applicants will be advised of the new arrangements as soon as possible.