Demonstrating credibility is one of the most difficult tasks faced by an asylum applicant. These difficulties
are particularly acute in the refugee context given that, as the Hon Justice Thomas Cooke has noted, many
asylum seekers do not have the opportunity to gather material evidence to support their claims. UNHCR
guidelines explicitly recognise this challenge that arises both for asylum applicants and for asylum adjudicators.
Recognising the particular context within which asylum applications are made, the benefit of the doubt is due
to the applicant. The duty to evaluate and to ascertain all relevant information is a shared one between the
applicant and the adjudicator. The asylum adjudication process is to be inquisitorial, not adversarial. In practice,
however, as this Report reveals, asylum adjudication remains a highly adversarial process.

The research presented here highlights the challenges that persist within the asylum adjudication process for
those seeking protection in Ireland. It fills a significant gap in current legal research and provides a much
needed analysis of the day to day practice of asylum law. It is greatly to the credit of the Irish Refugee Council
that this body of primary research has been completed and that analysis of credibility assessments by both
the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Appeals Tribunal is now publicly available. Building on
its strong track record of highlighting inequities, failings of due process and human rights violations, the Irish
Refugee Council has again brought critically important information on the asylum process into the public

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