New Legislation

Changes to the County Court Jurisdiction 2013
28/03/2013
Brian Stewart, Senior Partner at O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors and member of the Northern Ireland County Court Rules Committee, recently delivered a series of lectures on the recent changes to the County Court Jurisdiction which came into force at the end of February 2013. The introduction of the County Courts (Financial Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013 has increased the monetary jurisdiction of the County Court from £15,000 to £30,000. The jurisdiction of the District Judge has also increased from £5000 to £10,000. These amendments came into effect on...
New Pleural Plaques Legislation introduced in Northern Ireland
07/03/2012
New legislation has recently been introduced in Northern Ireland, which will allow sufferers from the asbestos related condition Pleural Plaques to claim compensation. In 2007, the House of Lords in the case of Johnston v NEI Industrial Combustion Ltd held that, in law, pleural plaques do not constitute actionable damage. This put an end to compensation claims for pleural plaques sufferers in the UK. In October of last year however, a Supreme Court ruling found that the Scottish Parliament acted within its powers in making pleural plaques compensatable, thwarting a challenge by a number of...
Judicial Review and Proportionality
03/06/2011
Proportionality is a principle of European Union Law, which requires that action taken by a Public body does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the EC Treaty.  A breach of the principle of proportionality can be used as a ground for judicial review and in order to be proportionate, an action must be appropriate, necessary, and not impose an excessive burden on those affected by it. The Administrative Court in England recently looked at the issue of proportionality in a judicial review challenge brought by BT and TalkTalk against controversial provisions in the...
Latest Developments in Arbitration Enforcement.
25/05/2011
The recent case of Novasen SA v Alimenta SA (2011) EWHC 49, highlights the harsh rules of undisclosed principals and also considers the doctrine of the separability of arbitration clauses. Novasen entered into a contract for the sale of a cargo of oils with Sogescol.  Sogescol agreed to look for buyers on behalf of Novasen, and entered into an agreement with Alimenta; who agreed to purchase the oil, on the condition that its identity was not disclosed to Novasen.  Novasen failed to deliver the oil. Alimenta claimed to be the undisclosed principal of Sogescol and thus entitled...
Debt Relief Orders to be available in Northern Ireland
12/05/2011
In the current economic climate, more and more individuals are placing themselves into bankruptcy to free themselves of their debt, and provide protection from Creditors.  However, since April 2009, Debt Relief Orders have been available in England and Wales, which provide an alternative to bankruptcy for certain people. Now, legislation is going through the Stormont Assembly to make these orders available to people facing insolvency and bankruptcy in Northern Ireland.  Enterprise minister Arlene Foster introduced a bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly in March, claiming that one...
Developments on the Right to Privacy
11/05/2011
Former Formula 1 boss Max Mosely has failed in his attempt to force news editors in the UK to notify people in good time before they intend to publish facts concerning their private life to enable them to obtain an injunction – or, as has become increasingly popular, a super injunction. Seven judges of the European Court of Human Rights sitting at Strasbourg unanimously concluded in a Judgement handed down on 10th May 2011 that: … the Court has consistently emphasised the need to look beyond the facts of the present case and to consider the broader impact of a pre-notification...