International Protection Act 2015

2.

Interpretation

2.         (1) In this Act—

“Act of 1996” means the Refugee Act 1996;

“Act of 1999” means the Immigration Act 1999;

“Act of 2004” means the Immigration Act 2004;

“applicant” means a person who—

(a) has made an application for international protection in accordance with section 15 , or on whose behalf such an application has been made or is deemed to have been made, and

(b) has not ceased, under subsection (2), to be an applicant;

“biometric information” means information relating to the distinctive physical characteristics of a person including—

(a) measurements or other assessments of those characteristics,

(b) information about those characteristics held in an automated form,

but does not include references to the DNA profile of a person, and references to the provision by a person of biometric information means its provision in a way that enables the identity of the person to be investigated or ascertained;

“chairperson” means the chairperson of the Tribunal;

“chief international protection officer” means the person appointed under section 75 to be the chief international protection officer;

“country of origin” means the country or countries of nationality or, for stateless persons, of former habitual residence;

“civil partner” means a civil partner within the meaning of section 3 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010;

“deportation order” shall be construed in accordance with section 51 ;

“deputy chairperson” means a deputy chairperson of the Tribunal;

“DNA profile” has the meaning it has in section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014;

“document” includes—

(a) any written matter,

(b) any photograph,

(c) any currency notes or counterfeit currency notes,

(d) any information in non-legible form that is capable of being converted into legible form,

(e) any audio or video recording, and

(f) a travel document or an identity document;

“Dublin Regulation” means Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 4

“Dublin System Regulations” means any statutory instrument made by a Minister of the Government for the purpose of giving effect to the Dublin Regulation;

“establishment day” shall be construed in accordance with section 61(2) ;

“European Asylum Support Office” means the European Asylum Support Office established by Regulation (EU) No. 439/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 5;

“Geneva Convention” means the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 (the text of which, in the English language, is, for convenience of reference, set out in Schedule 1 ) and includes the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees done at New York on 31 January 1967 (the text of which, in the English language, is, for convenience of reference, set out in Schedule 2 );

“High Commissioner” means the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

“identity document” includes a passport, visa, transit visa, national identity card, entry permit, residence permit, driving licence, employment permit, birth certificate, marriage certificate or any other document establishing or contributing to establishing a person’s nationality or identity issued or purporting to be issued by or on behalf of a local or the national authority of a state, including the State, or by an organ or agency of the United Nations;

“immigration officer” has the meaning it has in section 3 of the Act of 2004;

“information” includes—

(a) information in the form of a document (or any other thing) or in any other form, and

(b) personal information, including biometric information;

“international protection” means status in the State either—

(a) as a refugee, on the basis of a refugee declaration, or

(b) as a person eligible for subsidiary protection, on the basis of a subsidiary protection declaration;

“international protection officer” means a person who is authorised under section 74 to perform the functions conferred on an international protection officer by or under this Act;

“legal assistance” means legal aid or legal advice, within the meaning of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995;

“legal representative” means a practising solicitor or a practising barrister;

“Minister” means the Minister for Justice and Equality;

“persecution” shall be construed in accordance with section 7 ;

“person eligible for subsidiary protection” means a person—

(a) who is not a national of a Member State of the European Union,

(b) who does not qualify as a refugee,

(c) in respect of whom substantial grounds have been shown for believing that he or she, if returned to his or her country of origin, would face a real risk of suffering serious harm and who is unable or, owing to such risk, unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country, and

(d) who is not excluded under section 12 from being eligible for subsidiary protection;

“personal interview” means an interview held under section 35(1) ;

“preliminary interview” means an interview held under section 13(1) ;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

“protection” (except where the context otherwise requires) means protection against persecution or serious harm and shall be construed in accordance with section 31 ;

“qualified person” means a person who is either—

(a) a refugee and in relation to whom a refugee declaration is in force, or

(b) a person eligible for subsidiary protection and in relation to whom a subsidiary protection declaration is in force;

“refugee” means a person, other than a person to whom section 10 applies, who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group, is outside his or her country of nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country, or a stateless person, who, being outside of the country of former habitual residence for the same reasons as mentioned above, is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it;

“refugee declaration” means a statement, made in writing by the Minister, declaring that the person to whom it relates is a refugee;

“registered medical practitioner” means a person who is a registered medical practitioner within the meaning of section 2 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Tribunal appointed under section 66 ;

“Regulations of 2006” means the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 518 of 2006);

“Regulations of 2013” means the European Union (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013 ( S.I. No. 426 of 2013);

“safe country of origin” means a country that has been designated under section 72 as a safe country of origin;

“serious harm” means—

(a) death penalty or execution,

(b) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of a person in his or her country of origin, or

(c) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in a situation of international or internal armed conflict;

“serious non-political crime” includes particularly cruel actions, even if committed with an allegedly political objective;

“statute” means—

(a) an Act of the Oireachtas, or

(b) a statute that was in force in Saorstát Éireann immediately before the date of the coming into operation of the Constitution and that continues to be of full force and effect by virtue of Article 50 of the Constitution;

“statutory instrument” means an order, regulation, rule, scheme or bye-law made in exercise of a power conferred by statute;

“social welfare benefits” includes any payment or services provided under the Social Welfare Acts or the Health Acts 1947 to 2015 ;

“subsidiary protection declaration” means a statement, made in writing by the Minister, declaring that the person to whom it relates is a person eligible for subsidiary protection;

“Tribunal” means the International Protection Appeals Tribunal established by section 61 .

(2) A person shall cease to be an applicant on the date on which—

(a) subject to subsection (3), the Minister refuses—

(i) under subsection (2) or (3) of section 47 to give the person a refugee declaration, or

(ii) under section 47(5) both to give a refugee declaration and to give a subsidiary protection declaration to the person,

(b) subject to subsection (3), he or she is first given, under section 54(1) , a permission to reside in the State, or

(c) he or she is transferred from the State in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

(3) Where—

(a) a recommendation referred to in section 39(3)(b) is made in respect of an applicant, and

(b) the applicant appeals under section 41(1)(a) against the recommendation,

notwithstanding the giving, under section 47(4)(a) , of a subsidiary protection declaration to the applicant on the basis of the recommendation, he or she shall, for the purposes of this Act, remain an applicant until, following the decision of the Tribunal in relation to the appeal, the Minister, under section 47 , gives or, as the case may be, refuses to give him or her a refugee declaration.