Legal & Equitable’s Tom Darcy launches a Constitutional challenge

On Thursday, 22nd of January Tom Darcy, a founder member of Legal & Equitable, lodged a Constitutional Challenge to the ‘Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013?, drafted by Barrister David Langwallner, Dean of Griffith College and Director of the Innocence Project in Ireland.

The grounds of the claim are that critical sections of the Act are contrary to the Constitution of Ireland in that they are retroactive i.e. they alter the legal rights of citizens in retrospect. It is claimed that not only is it contrary to the Irish Constitution, it is contrary to the fundamental principles of the rule of law.

At this moment thousands of cases for the repossession of family homes are being railroaded through the Irish Courts by Irish and foreign banks,

and the vulture funds that have bought their loan books and are picking over the bones of the Irish economy. Many of these cases rely on the contested provisions of the 2013 Act.

In the light of this challenge, which Constitutional lawyers are confident will succeed, it would be very unwise for these Banks, Funds and their respective sponsors to continue their assault on Irish households because any order for repossession made while this challenge is ongoing will eventually be overturned to the cost of those same banks and funds

In the interim the Irish Courts, at every level, need to be aware of this challenge and be extremely cautious in dealing with claims for possession of family homes. It is not within the power of a lower court to determine this challenge, it is for the Supreme Court alone to determine the constitutionality of any piece of legislation, taking into account Ireland’s obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Anyone facing repossession of their home should seek advice and bring this challenge to the attention of any court hearing their case. Several voluntary groups and bodies will provide advice on when and how best to raise this in court. For a full list of those bodies you can contact Legal & Equitable via e-mail at: admin@legalandequitable.ie or visit our website at www.legalandequitable.ie


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