Commission to assist High Court in cases involving State’s duty to International Protection applicants


The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the ‘Commission’) has been granted leave by the High Court to exercise its amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) function in two important cases concerning the human rights of two individuals who arrived in the State seeking International Protection.

These cases involve two male applicants, who separately sought International Protection (or asylum) from the State in February of this year. Neither applicant was provided with accommodation on arrival in the State, rather each was given a voucher (€28 and €25 respectively) for a supermarket and both were subsequently advised that accommodation would be provided to them when space became available.  As a result, both lived on the streets for a number of weeks without social support.

Both argue that the State breached its duty to provide them with material reception conditions under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018. Consequently, both have pleaded numerous human rights breaches under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Commission is pleased to assist the Court as these cases raise significant human rights issues, which could have consequences for both the State and other International Protection applicants not represented in this case.  Having being joined as amicus curiae, the Commission will make submissions on Ireland’s legal obligations having regard to EU and national law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chief Commissioner, Sinéad Gibney, said:

“These are extremely important cases and their outcomes will have repercussions for the human rights of other people seeking International Protection in the State.

We are pleased to be in a position to offer assistance to the Court in its deliberations, on what we understand to be a matter of great public concern.”


For further information, please contact:
Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 852 9641 / 087 468 7760
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

Amicus Curiae

The Commission’s legal powers include the power to apply to the High Court, Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court for liberty to appear before the courts as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in proceedings that involve or are concerned with human rights or equality.