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Association News

At a CPD event held on October 26, Maria Hennessy, Assistant Protection Officer at UNHCR Ireland, spoke on the role of the UNHCR in third-party (amicus curiae) interventions both at the regional EU and national level.

Association News

At a CPD event held on October 26, Maria Hennessy, Assistant Protection Officer at UNHCR Ireland, spoke on the role of the UNHCR in third-party (amicus curiae) interventions both at the regional EU and national level. In acting as an amicus curiae, Maria described how the UNHCR makes submissions on the interpretation and application of legal principals arising from the Refugee Convention and other relevant refugee legislation. In the German pending preliminary reference of AH and FN v Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl (C-608/22 and C-609/22) on the persecution of women and girls in Afghanistan, Maria explained that the UNHCR submits that “protection is presumed to be required due to the persecutory measures taken by de facto authorities in Afghanistan, which affect women and girls solely on the basis of their gender”. Hilkka Becker, Chairperson of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, gave a summary of recent jurisprudence. Hilkka presented a case study of NG v International Appeals Tribunal [2023] IEHC, which concerned an Albanian national who claimed he faced threats in his country of origin in relation to a business disagreement and unpaid debts. In the context of this case, Hilkka explained that the refugee definition contains two elements: (a) apprehension of serious harm; and, (b) that there is no effective state protection in respect of said apprehended serious harm. In this instance, Phelan J. determined that there was effective state protection available and therefore the components of the definition were not met.

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