DDI member taking constitutional challenge to stop repossessions

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By Colin Ryan

One of the many reasons DDI was founded was in response to the outright dehumanisation of the Irish people at the hands of the banks in cahoots with the government. Now one of our members is challenging the very legislation that the banks rely on to take Irish people’s homes… (see Mail on Sunday Article)

The problem

This year we have been warned that more misery will be piled on the Irish people with some 50,000 possession orders expected to be sought in the courts. This could potentially result in 200,000 men women and children being evicted, with little hope of being able to find or afford anywhere to live.

None of the mainstream parties seem to be doing anything to stop this, or even alleviate the consequences. Other small political groups claim they will end this situation of evictions if you elect them, but not until then.

The banks are relying on the government’s new Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 to achieve this. Now DDI’s recent MEP candidate for Dublin, Tom Darcy, is mounting a constitutional challenge through the courts to have this piece of legislation made null and void.

The challenge

Tom has recruited the Dean of Griffith College Law School, a constitutional expert, to make this challenge that could stop these home possessions in their tracks. It could also open the door to everyone who has already been a victim of this Act to appeal to have the decisions against them overturned.

As of Thursday the 22nd of January 2015 the State’s Solicitor received a Statement of Claim supporting a Constitutional Challenge against the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013. The case claims the Act is repugnant to the Irish Constitution and the EU Charter of Human Rights.

Actions speak louder than words

It seems DDI is the only political party that is full of members who are actually out there doing everything they can to solve this problem, before we ever get elected. Many of our members are in the anti-eviction task force, the land league, and lay litigation support groups helping keep families in their homes and businesses.

They turn up at properties to block sheriffs and bailiffs, and they turn up in court to assist the helpless and stop banks using summary judgements to unlawfully take their property. We are very proud of the honesty, the knowledge, the fighting spirit, and community of our members.

We have also written before on the hard work of DDI’s Ben Gilroy facing down Sheriffs and spending much of his time researching, testing, and creating new case law in court in challenges against banks, or acting as advocate for others. Now Ben is also traveling up and down the country holding regular seminars to give the legal knowledge he has gathered to anyone who is fighting to keep their property.

DDI and its members will continue to do all we can to fix this problem that traditional parties refuse to act on, and we hope more and more people out there will join DDI and add their energy to solving this injustice.

Advisement to all judges and the legal profession

All members of the legal profession should take notice that all cases seeking relief from the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill of 2013 should now be adjourned pending the full hearing and determination of the Supreme Court of Ireland with regard to this case: TOM DARCY V MINISTER OF JUSTICE EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL | CASE NO: 2014/755P

 

The article in The Mail on Sunday read as follows

A Debt campaigner has recruited a senior legal expert for a court action that could throw a lifeline to up to 50,000 householders facing the threat of repossession and eviction.

On Thursday a former taxi driver and founding member of campaign group Legal and Equitable launched a challenge to a recently introduced law that eases the way for repossessions.

He has recruited the Dean of Law at Griffith College, David Langwallner to prepare his constitutional challenge.

The Land and Conveyancing Act of 2013 was brought in to change a situation that had prevent virtually all repossessions since 2011.

Campaigners say it was enacted at the request of the IMF, and If the challenge is successful it could throw 50,000 repossession cases into doubt.

Mr Darcy who has been in a bitter battle with AIB over 14.7 million recruited Mr Langwallner a constitutional lawyer and Director of the Irish Innocence Project, to help with the challenge.

The controversial law came about following a high court ruling in 2011 known as the Dunne judgment, which resulted with bank being blocked from threatening people with repossession.

Former justice minister Alan Shatter introduced the law to change that situation allowing banks to seek repossession,

But Mr Darcy says it is retroactive in nature and therefore unconstitutional. He believes that the law alters the legal rights of citizens in retrospect.

The challenge lodged last Thursday states the law is invalid to the constitution of Ireland and in violation to the “rule of law.”

It adds that the law is repugnant and in breach of The European Convention of human rights.

In 2013 Mr Darcy won a Supreme court appeal against a high court order to hand over four properties including his family home in Malahide Co Dublin. He said there had been a botched demand letter from AIB.

It is also argued that aspects of that case may cause problems for the 2013 law.