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IE: Court of Appeal rules that Ireland can no longer exercise the discretion under art. 17 when another State took responsibility under art. 29 Dublin Regulation

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP);
Ireland, Court of Appeal , P.F. (Zimbabwe) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal and The Minister for Justice and Equality, [2020] IECA 357, 18 December 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

The applicant, Zimbabwe national, applied for asylum in Ireland on 10 May 2021.The former Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (“ORAC”) recommended not to be granted asylum and the Minister issued a negative decision. The applicant further requested subsidiary protection on 11 July 2012 but following an oral hearing held on 3 May 2016, he received a negative decision. On 18 June 2016 the applicant was detained by Hampshire police in UK.

In 2016, judicial review and proceedings were instituted against a decision of the of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (“RAT”, now, pursuant to s. 71(5) of the International Protection Act 2015, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal) to affirm a recommendation that the applicant is not  eligible for subsidiary protection.

On 22 June 2016 the UK requested that Ireland take back the appellant pursuant to Article 18(1)(b) of the Dublin III Regulation. Since the transfer of the applicant did not take place by 5 February 2017, responsibility for his international protection application was transferred to the UK pursuant to Article 29(2) of the Dublin III Regulation. This transfer of responsibility was confirmed by the IPO in a letter to the Home Office dated 8 February 2017. The IPO further confirmed by letter of 14 February 2017 that Ireland would not accept a voluntary transfer of the appellant as the UK was now the Member State responsible for her international protection application. In 2017, the proceedings sought judicial review of the decision of the IPO concerning the Dublin Regulation claiming that the State enjoys a discretion under Article 17(1) of the Dublin III Regulation to reassume responsibility for the examination of the international protection application of the appellant following a transfer of responsibility to the UK pursuant to Article 29(2) of the Regulation.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s claims and ruled that in circumstances where responsibility is transferred to another Member State by virtue of the operation of Article 29(2) of the Dublin III Regulations, the Minister can no longer exercise discretion under Article 17 of the Dublin III Regulation to assume responsibility for assessing the applicant's international protection application.

The decision can still be appealed by the party before the Supreme Court.

Country of Decision
Court Name
IE: Court of Appeal
Case Number
[2020] IECA 357
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Asylum Procedures/Special Procedures
Dublin procedure