Subsidiary Protection for Asylum Seekers in Ireland

Liam Thornton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A third country national is entitled to subsidiary protection from Ireland where she faces a real risk of suffering serious harm if she is returned to her country of origin or country of former habitual residence. ‘Serious harm’ consists of (i) death penalty or execution, or, (ii) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of the applicant in the country of origin; or (iii) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict. The origins of the concept of subsidiary protection emerged from the need for a secondary status for those, who were in need of protection, but failed to come within the strict definition of ‘refugee’ as laid down within the 1996 Refugee Act. This article does not seek to give a detailed critique of the narrowness or vagueness of the definition of subsidiary protection within Irish and European law. This article shall first consider the current scheme of subsidiary protection application, before considering the proposed scheme under the 2007 Bill. The article will look at some of the common issues decision makers will have to consider under both instruments. The article shall then consider decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and communications to the Committee Against Torture, which may assist in determining subsidiary protection claims.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-13
    JournalIrish Law Times
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2008


    • Refugee Law
    • Ireland
    • Subsidiary Protection
    • Convention Against Torture
    • Asylum


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