ECRC Irish partner FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) has organised a conference on personal insolvency run in Dublin on April 19th. Discussions and presentations from international speakers centered around private bankrupcy and the Irish draft scheme for a forthcoming Personal Insolvency Bill which was published in Ireland at the end of January and likely to be published at the end of April 2012. This conference looked at international experience in this area and mapped out the future for debt settlement in Ireland.
The conference was addressed by Professor Jason Kilborn (USA), Egil Rokhaug (Norway) and Melina Mouzouraki (Greece) and a number of domestic speakers including Paul Joyce from FLAC. Details of the event and presentations including the campaign led by FLAC and many other relevant materials are available from the FLAC website www.flac.ie (FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) > Promoting access to justice in Ireland > Home Page)
Legislating for personal insolvency in Ireland: Discussions over international developments and domestic issues, took place in Dublin on Thursday 19 April. Opening the event, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton TD said she would bring the issues raised at the event to her colleagues and that personal insolvency was a major focus for the government. Background information and resources are available - as well as presentations from the conference speakers - on our campaign page. The conference programme is available in PDF format.
Also, here are two Irish Times articles about the Conference:
Personal insolvency law must create clear system for debtors
FLAC's conference on various aspects of Ireland's forthcoming legislation on personal insolvency, Legislating for personal insolvency in Ireland: International developments and domestic issues, took place in Dublin on Thursday 19 April.Opening the event, Social Protection Minister Joan Burton TD said she would bring the issues raised to her colleagues and that personal insolvency was a major focus for the government.
The event featured Irish and international experts examining the legal issues which arise as Ireland seeks to put systems in place to deal with a crisis in personal insolvency. These include the principles on which insolvency laws should be based, the consequences of such laws for the Irish constitution and the economy, and how repayment and write down mortgage debt is treated in other countries. The debate took place at a time when the IMF/EU troika is examining Ireland's proposed new debt legislation, due at the end of April 2012.
In his address, FLAC's Paul Joyce said that the new law must finally establish a clear and comprehensive system for people who are not able to cope with their debt. The interventions from the international speakers, Professor Jason Kilborn (US), Egil Rokhaug (Norway) and Melina Mouzouraki (Greece), were highly praised by the assembled participants, as were the inputs from Professor Gerry Whyte of Trinity College Dublin and economist Tom McDonnell of TASC.
The panel discussion that closed the event was also widely applauded for the variety and quality of its contributors, who included personal finance journalist Jill Kerby, Ross Maguire SC of New Beginning, Eimer O'Rourke of the Irish Banking Federation, solicitor Barry Lyons, Finola Flanagan of the Law Reform Commission and Colette Bennett of MABS.
The conference was attended by more than 200 people, including money advisors, banking representatives, lawyers and representatives of independent organisations dealing with housing, social justice and poverty.
Background information and resources are available - as well as presentations from the conference speakers - on our campaign page. The conference programme is available in PDF format.(Video clips from the conference will also be available shortly.)
FLAC Campaign: 21st century law needed for 21st century over-indebtedness!
Having become increasingly dependent on credit to organise their finances over the past fifteen years, Irish consumers are now facing a massive debt problem ata time of rising unemployment.Irish laws have not evolved to meet the rapidly changing landscape. The legal system itself has the same basic procedures since before the beginning of World War II. So we have a 21st century consumer credit market with a 19th century debt enforcement system.
FLAC is working to ensure that these laws are reformed, in order to provide consumers and their dependants with a dignified and effective way of dealing with debt that will be fair to the consumer, the creditor and the taxpayer alike. Comprehensive state-funded systems of money advice and civil legal aid are essential to ensure consumers have the support they need to address their situation.
You will find policy papers on debt in the publications section.There are also many related press releases around our credit and debt campaign.Finally, FLAC's in-house magazine, FLAC News, always features opinion pieces and articles on our debt campaign.
On 19 April 2012, FLAC held a conference on Legislating for personal insolvency in Ireland: International developments and domestic issues. You can download presentations from the following speakers (in powerpoint or word format), but note that we will have video clips of the event available shortly:
- Professor Jason Kilborn, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, USA
- Paul Joyce, FLAC Senior Policy Researcher
- Melina Mouzouraki, consumer rights lawyer, Athens, Greece
- Professor Gerry Whyte, Trinity College Dublin
- Tom McDonnell, economist, TASC
More presentations to come later!
Other resources we have available are:
- You can read FLAC's full submission on the draft scheme of personal insolvency law (from March 2012).
- FLAC made a presentation on the draft scheme of personal insolvency law to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence on 15 February 2012.
- In January 2012 FLAC prepared an overview of debt settlement schemes from around Europe, based on the work of Professor Jason Kilborn of John Marshall School of Law, Chicago.
- In October 2011 a group of individuals and organisations, FLAC among them, joined forces to present 9 key principles on personal debt.
- In September 2011 FLAC did an analysis of the latest mortgage arrears figures from the Central Bank which showed worrying levels of increase in arrears.
- We issued a Factsheet on the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears in January 2011 which explains how the Code works in practice.
- FLAC has issued a Checklist for Actions on Losing Your Job (updated in April 2011).
- FLAC has also written to the Ministers for Justice and Finance suggesting short-term measures to tackle personal debt.
- In December 2010, FLAC's Senior Policy Advisor Paul Joyce addressed the Law Reform Commission's Annual Conference on 'The Future of Debt Enforcement in Ireland'.
- In response to the growing number of queries and mounting concern from our clients around mortgage arrears, in October 2009 FLAC issued an open letter to legislators calling for urgent action on the issue. In September 2009 FLAC's Senior Policy Researcher Paul Joyce spoke at the Law Reform Commission's launch of its consultation paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement. The paper contained and endorsed many FLAC recommendations from its reports on debt issues.
- FLAC published its report on debt enforcement in the Irish legal system, To No One's Credit, on 6 July 2009, as well as an Executive Summary. It also issued a briefing document on legislation to change the Enforcement of Courts Orders Acts 1926-1940.
- On 24 April 2009, FLAC appeared at a session of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social and Family Affairs, to speak about levels & trends in personal debt in Irish society.
- In May 2003, FLAC published a report on treatment of credit and debt in Irish law entitled An End Based on Means?. This report was well received by politicians, financial experts and money advisors. You can download a copy of the report or of the Executive Summary.
- A follow-up conference in March 2004 brought together those who had responded to the report and presented them with various perspectives on the consumer debt situation in Ireland, as well as some international experiences. A summary of conference proceedings is available in print format only.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you feel you have been affected by the issues mentioned above.
SSRN Author Page for Jason J. Kilborn: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=95989
Other Irish news:
Publication of the Report of the Commission on Credit Unions. Professor Donal Mc Killop Chair: http://www.merrionstreet.ie/index.php/2012/04/publication-of-the-report-of-the-commission-on-credit-unions/
Full Report: http://www.finance.gov.ie/documents/publications/reports/2012/creditunionrepmar2012.pdf