Law Reform Commission consultation welcomed by legal rights group

22 September 2009

Recommendations by the Law Reform Commission to modernise debt enforcement and remove imprisonment for debtors in can't pay situations were today warmly welcomed by legal rights group, FLAC.

The Commission announced a wide range of proposals for reform of the debt management and debt enforcement system in Ireland, following extensive consultation with parties working with debt law in Ireland.

FLAC Director General Noeline Blackwell recalled that Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern TD, had said he was waiting for the Commission's forthcoming consultation paper before embarking on more extensive reform of debt law, following the McCann case in June.

"FLAC is now calling on the Minister to engage fully with the Commission's proposals with a view to producing law reform in the area of debt law sooner rather than later," said Ms Blackwell. "Any legislative change must look at the Irish consumer debt crisis fairly, including the fact that financial institutions lent money irresponsibly too."

In a major report published in 2003, FLAC recommended a complete overhaul of debt enforcement procedures in Ireland and the introduction of debt settlement legislation. In a further report published in July of this year, exploring the debtor's perspective on the enforcement process, FLAC again called for the setting up of out of court mechanisms for resolving debt cases.



1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all. It campaigns through advocacy, strategic litigation and authoritative analysis to contribute to the eradication of social and economic exclusion.
2. You can read more about FLAC's work on debt law reform on our website.
3. The latest copy of FLAC's newsletter is available online in PDF format.
4. Judgment was given by Ms Justice Laffoy in the McCann case on 18 June (see also discussion article in FLAC News): . It led directly to the Enforcement of Court Orders (Amendment) Bill that was passed in July, on which FLAC commented and issued a briefing paper.