UPDATE 13-11-2017

We are currently experiencing difficulties with our online referral form and are working to have it fixed as soon as possible. If you wish to to refer a client you can download the following form MLR Referral Form – 2017 and once filled out you can return it to Spirasi in one of the following ways

Email : mdolan@spirasi.ie

Fax :  01-8823547

Post: Spirasi,213 North Circular Road, Dublin 7

Medico-Legal Report Referral Process

New Referrer Registration

The first time you wish to register a client online, you will have register as a new referrer using the following steps

  1. Go to www.spirasi.ie and on the home page click on the page that is relevant to you, e.g. Healthcare Professional’s page for GPs or Legal Advisors page for solicitors.
  2. Once in the relevant page, on the right hand side you will see a login screen, click ‘register new account’.
  3. You will then be taken to a screen where you fill in your basic details and select a password.
  4. Once done, click ‘register new account’.  You are now registered
  5. You will be taken back to the log-in screen, where you enter your email and password to log-in.

Online Client Referral 

 Any time you come back to the site to refer,

  1. Log-in using your email and password. 
  2. Once logged in, you will see on the right hand side of the page the referral form which you fill in with as much detail as possible and click ‘submit’ when finished.
  3. If entered correctly “Sent Successfully” will appear on your screen,
  4. If anything important has been missed, you will get an error message on screen and will be directed to those errors.

We believe this process will result in a more efficient and cost-effective referral service for both Spirasi and referrers. However, we acknowledge that some referrers may still wish to fill in referral forms by hand which is  why the forms will be still be downloadable here (MLR Referral Form) and  continue to be available on request by email, fax or post

if you have  any questions please contact Robert King at 01-8389664 or at robert@spirasi.ie

Medico-Legal Report

Every year Spirasi doctors document evidence of the effects of torture through a legal document: a Medico-Legal Report (MLR). These reports, produced at the request of legal representatives, are crucial for enabling survivors of torture to secure safety in Ireland and prevent being returned to further torture or possible death. MLRs are submitted to support a torture survivor’s asylum claim, or presented as expert testimony in court at an appeal if the individual’s application has previously been turned down. A MLR is a robust legal document, compiled under the criteria found in the Istanbul Protocol,which are international guidelines for the documentation of torture.



Process for Medico-Legal Referral

The Medico Legal Report (MLR) is compiled by the examining physician in Spirasi and normally takes between 4-6 weeks to complete from the date of the first appointment. While all requests must come from the client’s solicitor, clients should be informed as soon as possible that they have a right to request an MLR from their solicitor as part of the protection process.

In order to request an MLR the solicitor fills in the Spirasi Medico Legal Referral Form with as much detail as possible and submits it, by post or online, to Spirasi . Once received the referral is reviewed by the Remit Panel in Spirasi to see if the referral conforms to the remit criteria (i.e. whether or not the client is a victim of torture according to the UN Convention Against Torture).  Having reviewed the referral the Panel may:


  1. Ask for further clarification

  2. Decide that, while a report can be written, it may not be beneficial to the applicant and this is then communicated to the referrer

  3. Feel that a referral does not conform to the remit criteria and this is also communicated to the referrer.

  4. Offer the applicant an appointment for a medico-legal assessment

The cost of an MLR is €492. However, if the request comes from a solicitor in the the Refugee Legal Service or in the Private Practicioner Scheme, the costs are covered by the Legal Aid Board. If the request comes from a private solicitor, the client must cover the costs. Often the clients, being asylum seekers with limited access to resources, cannot pay and the Remit Panel decides whether to proceed with the MLR at a reduced rate or pro bono. Spirasi can only offer a limited number of pro bono MLRs per year.

A person will not be seen for a Medico Legal Assessment unless they are registered with a GP.

If you have any queries about the torture care services provided by Spirasi, referring someone to our service or any other related issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Physical and psychological examination of the impact

During the production of a report, clients are asked to give a full history of their ill-treatment. It is here that Spirasi’s clinicians begin their systematic and delicate work examining scars and injuries such as badly healed fractures, lacerations and burns, damaged ligaments or gun shots.   These reports provide evidence of the serious psychological impact of torture on survivors. The Istanbul Protocol asserts the consistency of the evidence our physicians find with the individual’s account of their torture




Body of Evidence: read Freedom from Torture’s 2011 report on the treatment of MLRs by Immigration Judges.

Legal Framework Resources

Universal System: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 5 UN Convention Against Torture and Optional Protocol International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, article 7 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court UN Declaration on Torture

Regional Systems: American Convention on Human Rights “Pact of San Jose”, article 5 Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture European Convention on Human Rights, article 3 European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, article 5

United Nations Protocols and Guidelines Related to Anti-Torture Work: Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Istanbul Protocol) Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners (Bangkok Rules) United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules) WHO Protocol on Forensic Examination of cases of violence against women (rape) Operational Guideline for National Human Rights Institutions for the Prevention of Torture

General Comments by the Committee against Torture: General Comment No. 1 (refoulement and communications; implementation of article 3 in the context of article 22) General Comment No. 2 (implementation of article 2)

General Comment No. 3 (implementation of article 14)