Maintenance Act 1994

Application from reciprocating jurisdiction.

7

7. (1) The Central Authority may, on receipt of an application for the recognition or enforcement in the State of a maintenance order which has been transmitted by a central authority of a reciprocating jurisdiction, send the application to the Master of the High Court for determination F13 [ in accordance with section 7 of the Act of 1998 ] F14 [ , the Brussels I Regulation or the 2007 Lugano Convention ].

(2) F15 [ In the case of an application under the Brussels Convention or the Lugano Convention the Master shall consider it ] privately and shall make an enforcement order unless it appears to the Master from the application and accompanying documents or from the Master’s own knowledge that its recognition and enforcement are prohibited by the Brussels Convention or the Lugano Convention.

F14 [ (2A) In the case of an application under the Brussels I Regulation or the 2007 Lugano Convention the Master shall determine it in accordance with Regulation 4 of the European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgments) Regulations 2002. ]

(3) The Master shall cause the decision on the request to be brought to the notice of the Central Authority and, if an enforcement order has been made, shall cause notice thereof to be served on the maintenance debtor.

(4) ( a) The notice to be served on a maintenance debtor under subsection (3) shall include a statement of the provisions of Article 36 (right of appeal against enforcement order) of the Brussels Convention F16 [ F14 [ , Article 43 of the Brussels I Regulation or Article 43 of the 2007 Lugano Convention ] , as appropriate ].

( b) Service of the notice may be effected personally or in any manner in which service of a superior court document within the meaning of section 23 of the Courts Act, 1971, may be effected.

(5) The Master may—

( a) accept an application under subsection (1) F17 [ ] as having been transmitted by the central authority of the reciprocating jurisdiction concerned, and

( b) accept the documents accompanying the application, namely—

(i) a request that the application be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Convention,

(ii) a letter delegating to the Central Authority authority to act, or cause action to be taken, on behalf of the maintenance creditor, including specific authority to enable enforcement proceedings to be taken,

(iii) a document containing the name, date of birth, nationality and description of the maintenance debtor and all other relevant information regarding the identity, whereabouts or location of the assets, of the maintenance debtor,

(iv) a document required under Article 46 or 47 of the Brussels Convention F18 [ F14 [ , Articles 53, 54 or 57 of the Brussels I Regulation or Articles 53, 54 or 57 of the 2007 Lugano Convention ] , as appropriate, ] to be produced by a party seeking recognition or applying for enforcement of a judgment, and

(v) any translation of such a document,

as being such request, letter, document or translation, as the case may be.

(6) If any of the documents mentioned in subsection (5) (b) are not produced, the Master may allow time for their production, accept equivalent documents or, if the Master considers that there is sufficient information available, dispense with their production.

(7) F19 [ ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F13

Substituted (1.12.1999) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1998 (52/1998), s. 22(5), S.I. No. 353 of 1999.

F14

Substituted (10.03.2012) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (Amendment) Act 2012 (7/2012), s. 2(1)(g)(i)-(iii) and (v), commenced on enactment.

F15

Substituted (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(ii), in effect as per reg. 2.

F16

Inserted (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(iv), in effect as per reg. 2.

F17

Deleted (10.03.2012) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (Amendment) Act 2012 (7/2012), s. 2(1)(g)(iv), commenced on enactment.

F18

Inserted (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(vi), in effect as per reg. 2.

F19

Repealed (1.12.1999) by Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1998 (52/1998), s. 23(c), S.I. No. 353 of 1999.

Modifications (not altering text):

C3

Application of section affected (31.03.2005) by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), 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. 5, S.I. No. 5 of 2014.

Definitions.

39.—In this Chapter— ...

[‘relevant enactment’ means any of the following provisions: ...

(g) section 7 of the Maintenance Act 1994;

... ]

Proceedings heard otherwise than in public.

40.— ...

(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. ]

[(3A) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), nothing contained in a relevant enactment shall operate to prohibit bona fide representatives of the Press from attending proceedings to which the relevant enactment relates.

(b) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), where, in proceedings under a relevant enactment, a court is satisfied that it is necessary to do so—

(i) in order to preserve the anonymity of a party to the proceedings or any child to whom the proceedings relate,

(ii) by reason of the nature or circumstances of the case, or

(iii) as it is otherwise necessary in the interests of justice,

the court may, on its own motion, or on application to it by a party to the proceedings or by a person on behalf of a child to whom the proceedings relate, by order—

(I) exclude, or otherwise restrict the attendance of, bona fide representatives of the Press from the court during the hearing or particular parts of it, or

(II) prohibit or restrict the publication or broadcasting of any evidence given or referred to during the proceedings or any part of such evidence,

and any such order may, with regard to any restriction, contain such conditions as the court considers appropriate.

(c) In determining whether or not to make an order under paragraph (b), a court shall have regard to the desirability of promoting public confidence in the administration of justice and to any other matter that appears to it to be relevant and shall, in particular, have regard to the following:

(i) the best interests of a child to whom the proceedings relate;

(ii) the views, if any, of—

(I) a party to the proceedings, and

(II) a child to whom the proceedings relate who is, in the opinion of the court, capable of forming his or her own views;

(iii) whether information given or likely to be given in evidence is sensitive personal information;

(iv) the extent to which the attendance of bona fide representatives of the Press might inhibit or cause undue distress to a party to the proceedings or a child to whom the proceedings relate by reason of the emotional condition or any medical condition, physical impairment or intellectual disability of the party or the child concerned;

(v) the need to protect a party to the proceedings or a child to whom the proceedings relate against coercion, intimidation or harassment;

(vi) whether information given or likely to be given in evidence might be prejudicial to a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings;

(vii) whether information given or likely to be given in evidence is commercially sensitive information; and

(viii) whether information of the type referred to in subparagraphs (iii), (vi) and (vii) when taken together with other information would, if published or broadcast, be likely to lead members of the public to identify a party to the proceedings or a child to whom the proceedings relate.

(d) In considering the views of a child referred to in clause (II) of paragraph (c)(ii), a court shall take account of the age and level of maturity of the child concerned.

(e) Where evidence in proceedings to which a relevant enactment relates concerns a matter referred to in subparagraph (vi) of paragraph (c), an application under paragraph (b) may be made by or on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(f) In this subsection—

‘commercially sensitive information’ means—

(i) financial, commercial, scientific, technical or other information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in a material financial loss or gain to the person to whom it relates, or could prejudice the competitive position of that person in the conduct of his or her business or otherwise in his or her occupation, or

(ii) information the disclosure of which could prejudice the conduct or outcome of contractual or other negotiations of the person to whom it relates;

‘party to the proceedings’ includes a witness in the proceedings;

‘sensitive personal information’ means information about a person that would, in the ordinary course of events, be known only to the person or members of the family, or friends, of the person, and includes but is not limited to—

(i) information relating to the medical, psychiatric or psychological history of the person,

(ii) information relating to the tax affairs of the person,

(iii) information relating to the sexual conduct or sexual orientation of the person. ]

(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:

E14

Publication or broadcast of matters likely to lead members of the public to identify parties to proceedings under section prohibited by Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004), ss. 39 and 40A, as amended and inserted (11.02.2014) by Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013), ss. 4 and 6, S.I. No. 5 of 2014.

E15

Previous affecting provision: subs. (1) amended (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(i); substituted as per F-note above.

E16

Previous affecting provision: subs. (2A) inserted (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(iii); substituted as per F-note above.

E17

Previous affecting provision: subs. (5)(a) amended (1.03.2002) by European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002), reg. 13(e)(v); repealed as per F-note above.