Designation of safe countries of origin
72. (1) The Minister may by order designate a country as a safe country of origin.
(2) The Minister may make an order under subsection (1) only if he or she is satisfied that, on the basis of the legal situation, the application of the law within a democratic system and the general political circumstances, it can be shown that there is generally and consistently no persecution, no torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and no threat by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.
(3) In making the assessment referred to in subsection (2), the Minister shall take account of, among other things, the extent to which protection is provided against persecution or mistreatment by—
(a) the relevant laws and regulations of the country and the manner in which they are applied,
(b) observance of the rights and freedoms laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture, in particular the rights from which derogation cannot be made under Article 15(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights,
(c) respect for the non-refoulement principle in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and
(d) provision for a system of effective remedies against violations of those rights and freedoms.
(4) The Minister shall base his or her assessment referred to in subsection (2) on a range of sources of information, including in particular information from—
(a) other Member States,
(b) the European Asylum Support Office,
(c) the High Commissioner,
(d) the Council of Europe, and
(e) such other international organisations as the Minister considers appropriate.
(5) The Minister shall, in accordanc e with subsections (2) to (4) and on a regular basis, review the situation in a country designated under subsection (1).
(6) The Minister shall notify the European Commission of the making, amendment or revocation of an order under subsection (1).
(7) In this section—
“Convention against Torture” means the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted by Resolution 39/46 of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1984;
“country” means a country other than an EU Member State;
“European Convention on Human Rights” means the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms done at Rome on the 4th day of November, 1950;
“International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” means the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by Resolution 2200A (XXI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 16 December 1966.