Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (245)

Micheál Martin


245. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of legal cases that are ongoing for those families that are still being accommodated in direct provision centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39273/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I must inform the Deputy that it is not possible to accurately determine the number of legal cases taken by families or individuals who are accommodated in a direct provision centre.

I can say that presently there are 460 Judicial Reviews against the Department of Justice and Equality taken by applicants who are entitled to access direct provision if they so wish.  These are comprised of 207 cases against International Protection Office decisions and 257 against International Protection Appeals Tribunal decisions.  A single case can involve one person or a family or other group of 2 or more people. It not possible to determine how many of the cases involve persons currently living in direct provision. The court papers may not outline such circumstances as the living arrangements of the applicant(s) is not relevant to the legal issue or the facts of the case, nor is the fact that someone is taking a judicial review relating to their decision determinative of their entitlement to access the direct provision system. 

In addition to Judicial Reviews, the Department has 20 active legal files currently with the State Claims Agency. However, it is not possible to definitely say (a) if they are part of families or individuals, or (b) if there are other public liability actions where residents have taken cases against any commercial company that runs a direct provision centre and in taking a legal case has not named the Department or the Minister as a respondent in the case.