President Michael D Higgins has convened a meeting of the Council of State next week to consider whether or not to refer the International Protection Bill to the Supreme Court.

The Government has said the Bill was designed to deliver its undertaking to reduce the length of time asylum applicants spend in the protection process, including the direct provision system, through establishing a single applications procedure for international protection.

Under the proposed single procedure, an applicant will only have to make one application, and will have all grounds for seeking international protection and to be permitted to remain in the State examined and determined in one process.

The Government said the introduction of the single procedure would allow it to efficiently grant international protection to those who are entitled to it. 

At the same time it said it would identify, at a much earlier stage, persons who have no entitlement to stay in the State and who can safely return to their country of origin. 

However, there has been come opposition to the bill. 

The Irish Refugee Council, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and Nasc are calling for the bill to be withdrawn.

They say full consideration must be given to concerns expressed by organisations that work directly with asylum seekers and refugees.