Madigan’s bill to abolish unlawful maintenance and champerty

Josepha Madigan
Josepha Madigan

Josepha Madigan’s contempt of court bill will seek to abolish the offences of unlawful maintenance and champerty, The Sunday Times reports.

The solicitor and Fine Gael TD recently confirmed that she would press on with her bill, which will also provide for sanctions for social media companies which refuse to remove potentially prejudicial content.

It follows a Supreme Court ruling last year which found that Persona Digital Telephony Ltd, and Sigma Wireless Networks Ltd had entered into an unlawful funding agreement with a third party which had no bona fide interest in the litigation they were pursuing.

Ms Madigan said it was a “good idea” to get rid of the laws as nobody had been prosecuted for them in over a century.

In the Supreme Court case, lawyers for the State had said there were no Government plans to allow third-party litigation in Ireland.

Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, said his party had not yet decided whether to support Ms Madigan’s bill.

However, as Mr O’Callaghan was one of two senior counsel representing Denis O’Brien, a defendant in the Supreme Court case, it is expected he will recuse himself from internal party discussions.

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