Minister Shatter announces enactment of Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D., has today announced the signing into law by the President of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 on 2 August, 2011.
The new legislation provides for amendments to provisions across the range of civil and regulatory law including: bankruptcy law, the enforcement of maintenance orders, additional domestic violence protection, the organisation of coroners in the Dublin area, protection for good samaritans and those engaged in voluntary works, easements/rights of way, a new citizenship ceremony process, proper recognition of civil partners in regard to naturalisation and citizenship, the transfer of the Family Mediation Service to the Legal Aid Board and the appointment of Taxing-Masters to the High Court. 

Minister Shatter said "The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 contains many important provisions on a very wide range of measures across the civil law area. The changes are designed to strengthen the law and make it more efficient and effective. Some of the changes will help to modernise further the agencies that operate under the aegis of my Department".

The majority of the provisions in the Act have immediate effect. Sections 6 and 12 (Private Security Authority), section 30(g) (bankruptcy) and Part 16 (Family Mediation Service) are subject to commencement orders and those provisions will take effect shortly.
The text of the Act will be available on the Oireachtas website
A guide to the provisions of the Act is available on the legislation pages of the Department’s website

3 August, 2011


Main features of Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011

The Act provides for amendments to provisions across the range of civil and regulatory law including: -

• amendment of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 to allow the Legal Aid Board to give legal advice in relation to criminal matters to alleged victims of human trafficking (Part 2),
• to amend the law relating to civil liability for acts of good samaritans and volunteers (Part 3),
• strengthening of the provisions of the Private Security Services Act 2004 in regard to  licensing, enforcement and the collection of fees (Part 4),
• support for codes of practice on the sale of alcohol (Part 5),
• amendments of the Equality Acts to improve, inter-alia, the procedures of the Equality Tribunal (Part 6),
• amendments to the Bankruptcy Act 1988 to allow for application for a reduction in the discharge period from bankruptcy from 12 years to 5 years and to provide for automatic discharge of bankruptcies existing for 12 years or more (Part 7),
• amendment of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 to strengthen the existing provisions for the enforcement of family law maintenance orders (Part 8),
• amendment of the Coroners Act 1962 to provide for the amalgamation of districts in Dublin and other administrative matters (Part 9),
• amendment to citizenship law (Part 10),
• amendments to immigration law (Part 11),
• amendments to the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (Part 12),
• amendments to the Registration of Title Act 1964 (Part 13),
• amendments with regard to qualifications and appointment of Taxing-Masters (Part 14),
• provisions for the procedures for the deposition of material following completion of a Tribunal of Inquiry (Part 15),
• provisions in relation to the transfer of the Family Mediation Service to the Legal Aid Board (Part 16),
• miscellaneous amendments including amendment of the Domestic Violence Act 1996, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, the Official Languages Act 2003, the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940, the Courts of Justice Act 1936 and the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (Part 17).