Posted on October 19, 2011 12:56 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Dublin North East Labour Party TD and member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice Seán Kenny has today welcomed the proposal for a powerful new tool for claimants involved in proceedings within the European Union. "I welcome the fact that the Government is supporting the implementation of this proposal, known as a European Account Preservation Order or EAPO. It will have a hugely significant impact on the operation of freezing injunctions within the EU which currently depend on national law for their effect. This regulation will see the creation of a standardised mechanism by which courts of EU Member States can grant an order to freeze a defendant's bank account within the EU in order to support a claim for payment of a debt or damages, interest and costs. At the moment, a claimant must rely on national laws if it wants to do this either by having an order of the adjudicating court enforced abroad, or by going directly to the courts in the place where the account is based." "It was agreed at this morning's meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice that that this proposal would be progressed and indeed, it is to be put to the Dáil tomorrow and I anticipate that it will pass." The Regulation will provide a prescribed set of circumstances which, if met, will entitle a claimant to have the bank account of a defendant frozen. Although national law remedies will be permitted to continue to exist alongside the EAPO, it will be a new, free-standing remedy subject to its own rules and requirements. It should be noted that the definition of "bank account" contained in the Regulation is wide. It is not limited to accounts containing cash. It extends to those holding other financial instruments such as transferable securities, options, futures, swaps and other derivatives. Therefore, a wide variety of financial services entities may find themselves having to administer an EAPO." "An EAPO will be potentially available to a claimant involved in a civil or commercial matter having cross-border implications. An EAPO can be granted in order to preserve a bank account before or during a case in the court of an EU Member State, or else once a judgment has been obtained. In order to obtain a this type of EAPO a claimant would need to show that the claim is well-founded and that future enforcement of a judgment is likely to be impeded or made substantially more difficult without such an order, including because there is a real risk that the defendant might dissipate the contents of the relevant accounts." "It is important that governments and indeed, the European Union are on the side of ordinary people and I think this proposed Regulation is something that could be incredibly useful for individuals who are struggling to recover from being let down by unscrupulous businesses, such as that of Coalport Developments led by Tom McFeely. It is vital that ordinary people are given the mechanisms to be able to have assets of individuals frozen, and to be able to make banks ensure that accounts belonging to such individuals are frozen. I welcome the support the Government has shown for it, and look forward to its passing in the Dáil tomorrow".