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Litigation Costs

The Irish system underpinning the recovery of costs in Irish litigation is derived from British practice and systems but lags behind developments there. The basic principle is that the client is responsible for paying his or her costs and may only recover those costs in the event of winning. The corollary of the second leg of the prior sentence is that the client is responsible for ALL costs in the event of losing. That means that the client is liable […]


Mad, bad and dangerous to know

Klaus Barbie

On 21st June 1943, the Gestapo raided the house of Dr. Frédéric Dugoujon in Lyon. There they found nine leaders of the French Resistance, including Dr. Dugoujon, Jean Moulin, Raymond Aubrac and René Hardy. Only René Hardy escaped, there and then. Jean Moulin, returned from Britain, had been charged by General De Gaulle with uniting the various factions within the Resistance. He was tortured extensively by Klaus Barbie in Lyon and died in a railway station in Metz on his way to Germany. […]


FOI Bill: The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Right To Reply

I told the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that if they would like to make a reply to my FOI Posts, I would publish it. You can read their response below. *** The FOI Act, like FOI Acts in other jurisdictions, provides for access to records which already exist and are held by public bodies consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy. The Act, similar to Acts in other jurisdictions, does not provide that in the […]


Truths you weren’t meant to know: Why the FOI Bill is as it is.

In case there is any doubt about why Section 17 (4) of the newly published Freedom of Information Bill was inserted, let us compare an enquiry from data journalist Gavin Sheridan with the new restrictions. Gavin asked the Department of the Taoiseach for: “A ‘datadump’, (ie a copy/export of) the Oracle financial management system in use by the Department covering the time period for 2010.” He also requested that the information be given to him in a new file of […]


The Irish State wishes to uninvent computers with new FOI Bill

The new Freedom of Information Bill was published on the 24th July. Mark Coughlan pointed out on twitter that Section 17 of the Act seemed to be a little… shall we say, backward? Section 17 (4) (b) in particular contains the following restriction on how much freedom you can expect your information to have. , the FOI body shall take reasonable steps to search for and extract the records to which the request relates, having due regard to the steps […]


The Abolition of the Seanad referendum

We have declared our opposition to the abolition of the Seanad HERE.  Our opposition springs from the democratic deficit that is the Dail. If Dail Eireann functioned properly there would be no need to worry about the removal of the second house. Dail Eireann does not function properly and there is reason to worry. The Government intends to have a short campaign.  A short campaign will hinder effective opposition to the Seanad’s abolition. Campaigns are opportunities to educate the electorate […]


A Car Accident, Solicitors and the common good

Modern people, sportsmen/women excepted, are most at risk of serious injury when travelling on the road. The energy bundled in a motor car, or other vehicle, is considerable. If that energy is suddenly blocked, which is what happens in a typical car accident, it must go somewhere and, unfortunately, it sometimes goes into us. Then you are injured and the nature and extent of that injury is determined by chance. Make no mistake; as a society, we have planned these accidents. […]


The Injuries Board steps up its War on “Thoughts”

The Injuries Board is also called the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. It was established by statute in 2003. Every person wishing to recover compensation for a personal injury inflicted by wrongdoers must first apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the value of the claim. The Board has issued an article today (26th March 2013) and Patricia Byron, Chief Executive, went on Morning Ireland for an interview. The upshot of the article and the interview is this; personal […]


Gone, really gone?

Current events bring to mind an occasion from the past. In 1503, Pope Alexander VI died. Then, (no more than now), the provisions for inquests were absent from Papal affairs. Significantly, however, the Pope and his son, Cesare Borgia each fell ill after a meal given by the Pope to entertain Cardinal Adriano da Corneto. Because each had fallen ill and, presumably, because the Pope had controlled the circumstances of the meal there grew a belief that the Pope’s attempt […]


Mock Turtles and other mockeries

It is a surprising fact that something can be sold under two rubrics; what it is and expressly what it is not. Mock Turtle Soup is in that category. What is it? It is expressly fake. However, what is fake is the soup, not the turtle. The turtle is absent. It had to be absent, because it was rare and expensive. However, it had a consistency and mock turtle soup is an effort to produce the same consistency as the […]