Driving Offences – Criminal Law

Driving Offences are some of the most common charges most people will face in their lives. They range from careless driving to driving without insurance. Typically these matters are dealt with at District Court level. They may result in fines and can sometimes lead to imprisonment. The facts of the case are important and offences resulting in death or serious bodily harm will of course attract harsher sentences. Penalty points or disqualification from driving for a period of time can also occur. As many people use their car for work purposes, this can be very burdensome on their lives. However, with a strong legal defence, you can potentially avoid the harshest penalties. If you are concerned about possible driving offences, or any criminal matters, please contact this office for a consultation.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment – Social Welfare

By now most people will be aware of their entitlement to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, subject to certain criteria. The scheme was continually extended and as such people will continue to be paid. This payment is made on a weekly basis to the applicant's account if approved. However this payment is not like other benefits, unlike Jobseekers Allowance you cannot claim for dependents. It is intended to be a temporary solution to mass lay offs as a result of Covid. There is also a responsibility for those receiving the payment to notify the Department of Social Protection once they start working again. If you have accidentally received PUP while working it is important that you notify the Department. While prosecutions for fraud under this scheme have been relatively rare so far, they have certainly occurred. Man (39) charged with 20 counts of Pandemic Unemployment Payment fraud (irishtimes.com) If you have any queries about this matter, or any Social Welfare matter, please contact this office for a consultation.

Damache Implications for Citizenship

Recently the Irish Supreme court made a ruling in the Damache case. Mr Damache was sentenced in an American court for terrorism related offences in 2018. In the same year the Minister for Justice informed Mr Damache that his Irish Citizenship would be revoked on grounds of disloyalty to the Irish State. Mr Damache appealed this decision and the case found its way to the Supreme court. In October 2020 Dunne J. handed down a ruling stating that S19 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 did not meet the required grounds of natural justice due to the ramifications of having citizenship revoked. Natural justice is a judicial term used at times to invoke rights perhaps not explicitly enshrined in law or the constitution, but may be antecedent to both. Dunne J. noted that the decision maker in revoking citizenship must be impartial, a standard not presently met. The full implications of this ruling remain to be seen, however it is potentially a significant departure from the current status quo. If you feel that this issue may effect you, or if you have any concerns about citizenship or your immigration matters, then please contact our office for a consultation.

Challenging A Will in Ireland

wills_image In certain circumstances it is possible to go about challenging a will in Ireland. Generally, the law around wills is generally not a contentious area. Sometimes however circumstances arise where a person believes that he/she has not been treated justly in the will or probate process. There are, with the help of their solicitor, options open to such a person. Should the client be a child of the deceased he/she may be entitled to take an action under Section 117 of the Succession Act whereby a child, who believes that proper provision has not been made in the will for him/herself may take an action to remedy the situation. Generally the test which the court will apply is whether the deceased failed in their “moral duty” to provide for the child in the will. When deciding what the “moral duty” is the court may consider several factors including: • The amount left in the will to the child; • The means of the deceased; • The age of the child and financial prospects of that child; • The circumstances of the other children. Probate actions may be brought in either the Circuit Court or High Court. The choice of court depends on the value of the property. The court proceedings are held in camera which means that only those involved in the case are allowed to be in the Court at the time of hearing. This rule is designed to protect their privacy of the parties. Challenging a will can be by the very nature of the action a difficult process. Very often a family member will be on the other side of the challenge. It is therefore advisable to seek legal advice prior to making a decision as to how to proceed. TIP: Time is of the essence- There is a strict 6 month limit for a child of the deceased to issuing proceedings. This 6 month time-limit generally cannot be extended. If you are considering challenging a will or if you have a general legal query; contact us to arrange a consultation.

Employment Appeals Tribunal Award

EAT Logo Full A recent Employment Appeals Tribunal award resulted in a Claimant's compensation being set at €9,300 for unfair dismissal. The Claimant was working in a deli area of a large Retailer. The Retailer had installed covert CCTV as they believed staff were eating food from the deli area. When the Retailer examined the footage, they found that the Claimant had been taking food during her shift and was eating it during the day. The Claimant was called in to a meeting with the management of the Retailer. At that meeting she admitted that she had taken food and was sorry. She was brought in to a further meeting after which she was dismissed. However, the Tribunal was critical of the employer. It was of the view that the investigation and disciplinary process used by the company fell short of good practice. The decision of the Tribunal is not however altogether clear. It was not clear whether the use of covert CCTV was an acceptable method of investigation. Neither was it clear whether the footage should have been used in evidence against the Claimant. This may be clarified at a later date. The decision highlights the importance for employees to be aware of their rights. From an employer's perspective, the decision highlights the importance of legally sound procedures. These are essential when dealing with termination of an employee's contract. TIP: If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed it is advisable to act quickly. There is a time-limit of 6 months generally imposed from the date of the dismissal to take an action against your employer. This time-limit may be increased in some circumstances. If you feel you may have suffered an unfair dismissal or if you have an employment law query contact us to arrange a consultation. Further information on unfair dismissal in plain language may be viewed here
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