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Refugee Documentation Centre - Services

The services of the Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) are:

Research and Query Service

The RDC provides a specialist query and research service in support of the work of the Legal Aid Board and Department of Justice & Equality agencies involved in Refugee Status Determination, Immigration and Naturalisation.  Solicitors and barristers on the Service for Asylum Seekers panel of the Legal Aid Board may also use the service. The service is not available to members of the public.

Applications for the service may be made by completing and submitting an RDC Query Form.  The minimum notice required by the RDC is five days. Please submit the query form to us via the online form or by email, fax or post.

Sources used by our researchers include our in-house collections, subscription databases, Internet sources, and national and international contacts. Our query responses include a fully referenced list of sources cited.

Confidentiality: Information you submit to us on the query form will not be made publicly available. Please note however that our query responses may be published on the E-library of the Legal Aid Board and elsewhere, though publication only occurs after all confidential information has been removed.

Library Service

The RDC library houses a collection of books, reports, news reports and journals on a number of relevant subject areas including asylum, immigration, law, politics, anthropology and country of origin information. Reference works are also available.

If you are entitled to avail of the query and research service, you may also borrow materials from the library once you have registered with the RDC library service. You may borrow a maximum of three items for up to four weeks. You may not borrow Journals/Serials but it is possible to photocopy articles subject to copyright regulations. Please contact the RDC for further details.

Member of the public are welcome to visit the RDC Library by appointment in order to conduct research. However, members of the public may not borrow materials.

 Country of Origin Information – Training

The RDC provides tailored training courses on Country of Origin Information (COI) research to all the agencies we serve. We are an authorised national provider of the European Asylum Support Office/European Asylum Curriculum (EAC) COI Module. This is a 4 week online mentored programme with a concluding face-to-face training day. Modules include:

  • Role and Standards of COI
  • Scope and Limits of COI Research
  • Formulating COI Research Questions
  • Frequently Used Sources
  • Source Assessment
  • Research Skills and Strategy
  • Presentation and Documentation of Research Results

Contact us on rdc@legalaidboard.ie for more information on our training services.

The Researcher – Newsletter

The Researcher is the bi-annual publication of the RDC, providing information on the latest developments in the field of refugee status determination and country of origin research. You can download the latest edition of the newsletter and browse our previous editions by clicking here.

The Researcher is also available on ECOI.net and on Refworld.org.

Interested in submitting an article for publication? Contact Editor Elisabeth Ahmed on eaahmed@legalaidboard.ie for further information.

E-Library and COI Portal

The Electronic Library (E-library) is available to all Legal Aid Board staff members. It allows users to see what materials the library holds, to borrow and renew items, request searches and interlibrary loans, and recommend items to order. It is accessible from http://elibrary.lab.ie

The Refugee Documentation Centre has connected its COI database Eolas to the EU COI Portal, managed by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO),  and facilitates access for members of the library. The Portal is accessible here: https://coi.easo.europa.eu

Frequently Asked Questions

More information about the RDC is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section.