Legitimacy Act 1931

Declarations of legitimacy of legitimated persons.

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2. (1) A person claiming that he is or that any of his parents or remoter ancestors is or was a legitimated person may, whether he is or is not domiciled in Saorstát Eireann and whether he is or is not a natural-born British subject within the meaning of the Legitimacy Declaration Act (Ireland), 1868, institute proceedings under that Act, and that Act shall apply accordingly.

F4 [ (1A) A person claiming that a child of his is or was a legitimated person may, whether the child is or is not domiciled in the State and whether the child is or is not a natural-born British subject within the meaning of the Legitimacy Declaration Act (Ireland), 1868, institute proceedings under that Act praying for a decree that the child is the legitimate child of his parents, and that Act shall apply accordingly.

(1B) Proceedings instituted by virtue of this section shall be heard in chambers. ]

(2) The Circuit Court shall have and may exercise jurisdiction in proceedings instituted by virtue of this section under the Legitimacy Declaration Act (Ireland), 1868, and section 25 and the provisoes to section 48 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), shall apply in respect of all such proceedings.

(3) The jurisdiction conferred by this section on the Circuit Court shall be exercised by the Judge of that Court for the time being assigned to the Circuit in which the person instituting the proceedings is residing or, where such person does not reside in Saorstát Eireann, to the Circuit which includes the City of Dublin.

Annotations:

Amendments:

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Inserted (15.12.1971) by Courts Act 1971 (36/1971), s. 20, commenced on enactment.

Modifications (not altering text):

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Application of subs. (1B) restricted (31.03.2005) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/1004), s. 40, S.I. No. 544 of 2004 as amended (1.08.2008) by Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (14/2008), s. 31, S.I. No. 274 of 2008; and as amended (11.01.2014) by Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013), s. 4(b), S.I. No. 334 of 2014.

Subs. (1B) included in definition of “relevant enactment” by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), s. 39 as inserted (11.01.2014) by Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013), s. 4(b), S.I. No. 5 of 2014, for purposes of s. 40 which regulates the operation of the in camera rule in family law cases.

Proceedings heard otherwise than in public.

40.—(1) In this section “court” includes the Master of the High Court.

...

(3) Nothing contained in a relevant enactment shall operate to prohibit—

( a) the preparation by a barrister at law or a solicitor or a person falling within any other class of persons specified in regulations made by the Minister and publication of a report of proceedings to which the relevant enactment relates, or

( b) the publication of the decision of the court in such proceedings,

in accordance with rules of court, provided that the report or decision does not contain any information which would enable the parties to the proceedings or any child to which the proceedings relate to be identified and, accordingly, unless in the special circumstances of the matter the court, for reasons which shall be specified in the direction, otherwise directs, a person referred to in paragraph (a) may, for the purposes of preparing [such a report—

(i) attend the proceedings, and

(ii) have access to any relevant documents,

subject to any directions the court may give in that behalf. ]

(4) Nothing contained in a relevant enactment shall operate to prohibit a party to proceedings to which the enactment relates from supplying copies of, or extracts from, orders made in the proceedings to such persons and in accordance with such conditions (if any) as may be prescribed by order of the Minister.

(5) Nothing contained in a relevant enactment shall operate to prohibit a party to proceedings to which the enactment relates from being accompanied, in such proceedings, in court by another person subject to the approval of the court and any directions it may give in that behalf.

(6) Nothing contained in an enactment that prohibits proceedings to which the enactment relates from being heard in public shall operate to prohibit the production of a document prepared for the purposes or in contemplation of such proceedings or given in evidence in such proceedings, to—

( a) a body or other person when it, or he or she, is performing functions under any enactment consisting of the conducting of a hearing, inquiry or investigation in relation to, or adjudicating on, any matter, or

( b) such body or other person as may be prescribed by order made by the Minister, when the body or person concerned is performing functions consisting of the conducting of a hearing, inquiry or investigation in relation to, or adjudicating on, any matter as may be so prescribed.

(7) Nothing contained in an enactment that prohibits proceedings to which the enactment relates from being heard in public shall operate to prohibit the giving of information or evidence given in such proceedings to—

( a) a body or other person when it, or he or she, is performing functions under any enactment consisting of the conducting of a hearing, inquiry or investigation in relation to, or adjudicating on, any matter, or

( b) such body or other person as may be prescribed by order made by the Minister, when the body or person concerned is performing functions consisting of the conducting of a hearing, inquiry or investigation in relation to, or adjudicating on, any matter as may be so prescribed.

(8) A court hearing proceedings under a relevant enactment shall, on its own motion or on the application of one of the parties to the proceedings, have discretion to order disclosure of documents, information or evidence connected with or arising in the course of the proceedings to third parties if such disclosure is required to protect the legitimate interests of a party or other person affected by the proceedings.

(9) A hearing, inquiry or investigation referred to in subsection (6) or (7) shall, in so far as it relates to a document referred to in subsection (6) or information or evidence referred to in subsection (7) , be conducted otherwise than in public and no such document, information or evidence shall be published.

(10) This section shall apply to proceedings brought, and decisions of a court made, whether before or after the commencement of this section.

[(11) In subsection (3), ‘relevant documents’, in relation to any proceedings referred to in that subsection—

( a) subject to paragraph ( b), means—

(i) the petition, summons or other originating document in the proceedings,

(ii) pleadings and other documents (including the terms of settlement, if any) produced to or lodged with the court, or included in the book of pleadings, in the course of the proceedings, and

(iii) any order made by the court in the proceedings,

( b) does not include any document the contents of which are expressed to be without prejudice or in terms having a like effect. ]

Editorial Notes:

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Courts of Justice Act 1924 (10/1924), s. 48 mentioned in subs. (2) was repealed (29.09.1961) by Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 (39/1961), s. 3 and first sch., commenced as per s. 1(2) and S.I. No. 217 of 1961.