Monthly Archives: February 2015

Children’s Minister says government will not buckle to pressure on plain packaging law

The Children's Minister has made it clear he will not be buckling to pressure to stop the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes. James Reilly was responding to a letter from one of the country's largest tobacco firms JTI Ireland which warned they will take legal action if he does not halt the plans. The new legislation would remove all branding from cigarette packets in an effort to deter people from buying them. TI Ireland owns the Benson and Hedges and Silk Cut brands. Minister Reilly is facing an Oireachtas Committee to discuss the overall issue this afternoon. Chairman of the health sub-committee deputy Jerry Buttimer says today's hearing is another step towards the legislation being enacted. Arthur Beesley, Political News Editor with The Irish Times, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast this...
Read more

Ireland makes legal gender equality history

Ireland makes legal gender equality history | euronews, world news

A new milestone has been reached in the battle to achieve gender equality in sectors that have been dominated by men for centuries. According to new statistics, Ireland is thought to be the first country in the world where female solicitors now outnumber male solicitors. The Law Society of Ireland says at the end of 2014 there were 4,623 female solicitors, compared to 4,609 male solicitors. The figures relate to practising solicitors. “To our knowledge, this is the first time a female majority has existed in any legal profession anywhere in the world,” said Teri Kelly from the Law Society of Ireland.This is seen as a major achievement in Ireland, given it was just 92 years ago...
Read more

New court for intellectual property rights

  The establishment of a new court described as crucial to securing the future of the so-called “knowledge economy” will require a referendum to amend the Constitution, possibly by the end of this year or early in 2016. Last November, the Government confirmed that a local division of the Unified Patent Court will be established in Ireland, which would allow businesses to resolve disputes around intellectual property rights IPR locally rather than in other EU member states. A single court case will therefore decide on the validity of a patent throughout up to 25 states, eliminating the need for country-by-country litigation. The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a “seamless, integrated single market for intellectual property rights”, which will also include the establishment of a unitary patent for Europe. Patent protection is...
Read more

New patent court for Ireland ‘crucial’ to securing knowledge economy

New patent court for Ireland ‘crucial’ to securing knowledge economy

The establishment of a new patent court described as crucial to securing the future of the so-called “knowledge economy” will require a referendum to amend the Constitution, possibly by the end of this year or early in 2016. Last November, the Government confirmed that a local division of the Unified Patent Court will be established in Ireland, which would allow businesses to resolve disputes around intellectual property rights IPR locally rather than in other EU member states.A single court case will therefore decide on the validity of a patent throughout up to 25 states, eliminating the need for country-by-country litigation. The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a “seamless, integrated single market for intellectual property rights”,...
Read more

Supreme Court calls for law on recognition of foreign divorces

Supreme Court calls for law on recognition of foreign divorces

The Supreme Court has called for legislation to enable a uniform approach to recognition of foreign divorces. It follows a ruling that Irish law does not recognise the validity of divorces obtained before 1986 in certain circumstances. An important judgment was delivered by the court today relating to the recognition here of foreign divorces obtained before 1986, the year a law was enacted abolishing the dependent domicile of a married woman. The five-judge court ruled, by four to one, that Irish law does not recognise the validity of a foreign divorce lawfully granted before October 1986 in a country where neither person in the marriage was domiciled when the divorce proceedings were instituted but where one...
Read more

The specialist family court that cares about keeping families together

The specialist courts that care about keeping families together

Peter Wandle’s son was removed at birth by social services. The family court FDAC presented the new father with a stark choice: abandon his drug-taking and drinking or lose parental rights. Five years on, Wandle takes his young son to school every day.Such specialist courts – like those focusing on drug or domestic violence offences – lead to lower reoffending rates and improved support for those going through the justice system, according to a recent study of judicial performance. More direct communication with defendants before hearings and in the courtroom also enhances perceptions of procedural fairness and results in better outcomes, the report by the Centre for Justice Innovation and the Criminal Justice Alliance argues. According to...
Read more

Divorce, Irish style

It’s 20 years since Ireland voted for divorce. An Irish Times series, Divorced Ireland, explores the effects of that vote on Irish life, then and since. To read the full series click hereWith nearly one in ten marriages here ending in separation or divorce, Ireland has the lowest rate of divorce in Europe and the third lowest in the world, after Mexico and Chile. It is almost 20 years since the country voted, by 51 per cent to 49, to remove its constitutional ban on divorce. The referendum was in November 1995; legislation followed in June 1996. Years of debate had preceded the referendum, and the campaign was a divisive one, with the No side narrowing the gap in the days before the poll. In a last-ditch effort to persuade women to vote...
Read more

Digital evidence requires an understanding of cyberlaw

Digital evidence requires an understanding of ‘cyberlaw’

How is the criminal justice system learning to cope with the unique complexities of cyberlaw with the analysis of mobile phone data, satellite imagery and emails? And that’s before you add in all the potentially sensitive material on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram. Advances in cyberlaw and forensic science, particularly in DNA analysis, continue to revolutionise the ability of investigators to build conclusive cases. But, in a world where hacking is increasingly the criminals’ tool of choice, how well-equipped are we to drive cyber investigations in pursuit of crucial evidence? There are two strands to the answer. The first is that courts have traditionally preferred direct witness evidence to digital data, which is sometimes...
Read more

Mediation, an alternative to the divorce court

Mediation, an alternative to the divorce court

The recent Divorced Ireland series click here to read full series in the Irish Times has highlighted the challenges people face in dealing with separation, particularly when children are involved. Faced with the breakdown of a marriage or long-term relationship, many people see court as being the only avenue open to them. Some who embark on a legal process find themselves communicating only through solicitors and working against each other, rather than together.Mediation offers an alternative to this. In family mediation, trained professional mediators assist couples in negotiating the profound changes their family is going through, with a view to reaching an agreement that will work for everyone. Mediation provides a safe space for both parties to identify and talk about...
Read more