The issue of illegal immigration is politically sensitive. Unregulated immigration undermines state sovereignty and may put the welfare system and national security at risk. Almost no statistics exist on stocks of illegally resident immigrants beyond the number of outstanding deportation Data on the number of persons refused leave to land which was 4,477 in 2004 may be indicative of flows of illegal immigrants to Ireland. However it should be noted that permission to enter Ireland may be refused for a range of reasons. Ireland is a State party to the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 protocol. Ireland is also a signatory to the Dublin Convention under which the state responsible for examining applications for asylum lodged in one of the member states of the European Communities is determined, and is subject to the Dublin Regulation EC 343/2003 which succeeded that convention. The 1996 Refugee Act is the principal piece of domestic legislation dealing with refugees and asylum seekers. The Act incorporates the 1951 Geneva Convention into domestic law. It provides for the establishment of the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) as well as the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and sets out a framework to determine the outcome of asylum applications. The 1996 Act has been amended by the Immigration Act 1999, the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000 and the Immigration Act 2003...
Society in Ireland has become very diverse with 210 languages and dialects used in Irish courts. Statistics reveal that one person in ten in Ireland was born outside the country. In cases involving asylum-seekers both in criminal and civil law, migrant workers or any persons for whom English is not the first language, there are more and more instances in courtrooms where language is a barrier to effective communication. Serious concern arises in cases where non-professional interpretations or translation services are provided. Sometimes, miscarriage of justice can arise due to language difficulties. The access to an interpreter is at the discretion of the court (Ivana Bacik).
The Refugee Act 1996 (as amended)
The Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) was implemented in full on 20 November 2000. In this act a 'refugee' is a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or owing to such a fear is unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country. Or s/he may not be having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her habitual residence is unable or owing to such a fear is unwilling to return to it.
This Act does not include a person as refugee if s/he is receiving protection or assistance from organs or agencies or the United Nations, is recognized by the competent authorities of the country in which s/he has taken up residence as having the rights and obligations which are attached to the possession of the nationality of that country, has committed a crime against