IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Irish government has organized a task force to address a May Supreme Court ruling that said Ireland cannot impose an absolute ban on providing work authorization to asylum seekers.

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court gave Irish officials six months to come up with a solution after holding that the current ban violated the country’s constitution. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said in a statement that responding to the ruling requires a “whole-of-Government” approach.
  • Flanagan said the task force would review the implications of the case and consider “appropriate solutions as quickly as possible,” adding that “The Court recognises that there are complex matters in relation to this Judgement, and that the State has a right to determine not just who can enter the State but also to regulate what their rights are while within the State, particularly as regards employment.”

Background: The case involved a Burmese man who sued to overturn the ban while his asylum application was under consideration. The Supreme Court sided with him in a 7-0 ruling, reasoning that because there is no limit on how long authorities can take with asylum applications, the restriction amounted to a complete ban on the right to seek work, violating Ireland’s constitution.

BAL Analysis: Officials are working now to come up with a fix to their current laws that would comply with the ruling, which has the potential to significantly expand work opportunities for asylum seekers.