The Publication of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society, particularly on our four main issue areas, which can be found here. Below is the most recent issue published, however it has been produced three times a year since 1987, and all of the articles are available in full on this site.
In the opening article in this issue of Working Notes, Eugene Quinn describes the difficultly of life within the direct provision accommodation system for applicants for asylum in Ireland – the restrictions of limited personal space, the impact of institutional living on families, and the boredom and loss of skills resulting from the ban on asylum applicants taking up employment. The impact of these various difficulties is all the greater, given that people may remain in the system for prolonged periods (the average length of stay is now over three and half years). Eugene Quinn says there is urgent need for legislation for a reformed asylum system and for additional resources for the courts to enable them to adjudicate more speedily on applications by asylum seekers for judicial reviews of decisions. There is also need to address the problems in direct provision itself, the most critical being the ban on working. He concludes that while a state has the right to control its borders, natural justice requires that a fair and transparent asylum process is provided and that applications within that system are processed and concluded within a reasonable period of time.
In the second article, Catherine Lynch writes that racism is a serious but under-reported problem in Ireland today: she points out that the findings of surveys, and the experience of NGOs, suggest a much higher incidence of the problem than is indicated by the number of ‘racially motivated incidents’ officially recorded by An Garda Síochána. She says that effective systems for recording and monitoring racist incidents are necessary not just to provide the possibility of redress for those affected, but to establish an evidence base for the development of appropriate legislation, policy and prevention strategies in relation to both racially motivated crime and discrimination in access to goods and services. She outlines how NGOs can play a vital role in the monitoring process and calls for leadership and political will to ensure that the issue of racism is taken seriously and effectively addressed.... Read more