Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC)
Source description last updated: 12 September 2018

In brief: The Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) is the country of origin information service of the Irish Legal Aid Board, an independent, publicly funded organization providing legal aid to, amongst others, asylum seekers.

Coverage on
Query responses (Resp), Reports (SR)
Covered weekly on, for countries of priorities A-E (all available countries).

“The Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) was established in late 2000 as an independent unit providing COI (Country of Origin Information) research and library services to the agencies involved in the asylum process. The RDC is part of a larger unit within the Legal Aid Board known as the Research and Information Unit (RIU).” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre FAQs, undated)

“The Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) is an independent service operating under the aegis of the Board. The main role of the Centre is to provide an objective research and query service for key organisations involved in the international protection process, with a particular focus on providing Country of Origin information (COI). Members of the public and other agencies may also use the RDC to conduct their own research. The RDC continues to maintain a close working relationship with the UNHCR.” (Legal Aid Board website: Annual Report 2015, 2015)

“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.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre – Services, undated)

The Legal Aid Board states: “Our mission is to facilitate the effective resolution of civil disputes through the delivery of efficient and accessible legal aid and mediation services and to effectively manage and administer the State’s criminal legal aid schemes. […] Our vision is to facilitate access to justice through providing for resolution of civil disputes in the most appropriate manner while keeping in mind the dignity of the person, the nature of the dispute and the impact of the dispute on the parties immediately involved and wider society and further to manage the provision of criminal legal aid in an efficient, effective and accountable manner.” (Legal Aid Board website: Annual Report 2015, 2015)

“Exchequer funding for the Legal Aid Board in 2015 was €32,471 million.” (Legal Aid Board website: Annual Report 2015, p.15, 2015)

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Worldwide
Thematic focus: Country of origin information

“RDC operates under the Legal Aid Board, but is independent of all asylum organisations that use its service. Information requests from all asylum organisations are dealt with equally and only public sources of information are used in carrying out research.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre FAQs, undated)

“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.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre – Services, undated)

For instance, “Country Marriage Packs (CMPs) are prepared by researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Refugee Documentation Centre within time constraints. CMPs contain a selection of representative links to and excerpts from sources under a number of categories for use as Country of Origin Information.” (Refugee Documentation Centre: Country - Marriage Pack Lebanon, August 2016, p.1)

Language(s) of publications:

Further reading / links:
Refugee Documentation Centre: FAQs, undated

Refugee Documentation Centre: The Researcher:
“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.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre – Services, undated)
Refugee Documentation Centre: Style Guide, June 2011
All links accessed 28 April 2017.
All documents available on from this source