Elaine Byrne: Government must not block access to justice

Centuries old law is obstacle to equality in our legal system

Elaine Byrne - avatar

Elaine Byrne

20th September, 2015
The four courts

Why is the government once again attempting to deny Irish citizens access to justice?

This obscure doctrine of champerty was introduced in Ireland centuries ago under the Maintenance and Embracery Act 1634. The support of someone else’s legal claim in exchange for a share of the potential damages is a criminal offence in Ireland.

Champerty was abolished in England and Wales in 1967; third party litigation funding is standard practice in Australia and the US.

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